We are always taught that "Please" and "Thank You" (P&TY for the sake of brevity) are the most powerful words/phrases in the English language. Much like death and taxes, this is as true today as it has been for as long as man has been here on Earth. I suspect, however, cavemen used "Ugh" and "Ouch".
As important as it is for the customer service rep you are dealing with to use P&TY when assisting you, it is equally as important for you to try to be as-if not more-gracious yourself. This will benefit you in dealing with the various types of reps:
1. Nice-P&TY will help to gain mutual respect and therefore a mutually satisfying outcome.
2. Mean-P&TY will keep the rep ass-holing their way through most of the call until you convince them that they are unqualified to assist even the least celled creatures. You'll have the benefit of experiencing how polite they really get once you decide to move on.
Receivership of bad service should motivate you to speak to that rep's manager if you have the time. I would argue, however, it's best to share that experience with your friends as chances are their reaction to it will have more of a chafing effect on the company than a manager chastising the rep based on your feedback. I will, however, encourage you to speak to a manager every time you receive good, great or even amazing P&TY service. There are a few reasons I say that:
1. It should offer some guidance to the company on the kind of people they want to keep company with (I think that was a slight pun).
2. Wouldn't you want the same done for you?
3. Your comments may translate into a reward for the person. After all, you were rewarded in time saved, aggravation not reached and a satisfying resolution to your issue.
And, when you can, write down the name and direct number of the rep that gave you this great service. In most larger companies this is not possible, but take a crack at it. I got a name and number from a Wells Fargo rep today and, believe you me, I will use it. Also, still believing you me, the rep will be more than happy to help me (above and beyond) because his manager got my feedback and shared it with him.
And believe me you, because this is what I do for a living.