I've never heard of anyone having to wait like that. Now if you deal with the normal billing CSR there's not much they can do but if you either say you want to cancel or just ask for retention then you're talking to the people that can make these deals. In my case I just told them that my contract was up, my bill had gone up significantly and the competition was offering more for this much. They were able to match the price without any argument. In my case that saved me $50 a month (triple play bundle) but in other case it could be even more as I've seen triple play bundles in some areas go for as low as $90/month.
The key being they hate the churn. Losing a customer costs them a lot of money as they know they may never get that customer back and gaining a new customer takes a lot of work since most people are loath to switch providers unless something is really wrong with their current provider.
What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!