That kinda depends. In this case, where we are dealing with Online Customer Support, that rule can be changed quite a bit to the liking of the customer support agent. Sometimes its a good thing, sometimes it isn't.
As for real life, for example a restaurant, that rule is something that is broken very, very rarely. Under extreme circrumstances it can be overlooked, but at the end of the day it will always be followed by each and every person in said restaurant.=
Anyways, back on topic:
They said that they are working on it now. I have sent a tweet to BNS OPS and asked them why is there no announcement about this issue, to present others from falling into this trap.
They told me that if it could not be solved in a "timely manner", they will post one. I guess over two days of this bug being out there is not enough for them to warn people to hold off with their BNS Gold and help themselves reduce the amount of names they will have to fix later on. Gotta rake in that money and make people wait afterwards, ehh?
I hope that they come up with something that is actually acceptable and not something like: We have unlocked the names now. Go get them (Oh yeah, we haven't told you when so someone else claimed it, suck ye?).
The prefered solution would be if they made the changes to your account and transfered the name to you instantly as its fixed. I don't wanna compete over my name after two days of waiting for it and getting fed with false information about the process until the very end where they couldn't cover it anymore.