Treat your CSR with respect
Your CSR has one motivation, and that is to get you off the phone. Not only does your CSR not care how long you have been in the queue, or "on hold" as you may be inclined to say, your CSR doesn't care how many times you've called in the last ten months.
Yes, most CSRs want to help you. Fixing your problem the first time you call ensures a greater percentage that you will not call back again.
So here are some real life help hints on how to get useful help from your friendly, if overly caffinated CSR:
The most important thing you can do is to listen to what your CSR has to say. They will start off the conversation with some very important details. For instance, most CSRs will tell you their first name. Remember, only sales reps give you a surname or an extension most of the time. Also your CSR will likely ask you a series of questions, the purpose of which is to secure your identity. This is for your protection.
Listen carefully to the questions that your CSR asks. Answer only the questions that you have been asked. Telling a CSR your life story does nothing but make him or her anxious about having long call times. Along this line, do not call in and tell the CSR your diagnosis of the problem. Again: Answer the questions asked of you in a brief fashion using as little jargon as possible.
Your CSR is not the post office. If your bill is due today, and you assure your CSR that the check's in the mail, there still nothing that can be done to prevent your $1,049 overdue bill from resulting in a disconnect for nonpayment. If the bill took eighteen days to travel from your little hometown or your big city flat, it is still late if it doesn't arrive by the due date.
For a bonus: Even if a bill never reaches you by mail, you are still responsible for paying for services provided to you. Even if you scream, rant, write a letter to your congressman, swear, threaten to sue your CSR in a court of law, or demand to speak with a supervisor.
Remember, the CSR is sitting in a fairly secret location with the power, however temporary, to wreak havoc on your life. So be polite, be quick, be clear, be patient, and you may be lucky enough to come out of this experience ahead of where you started.