It goes both ways. If everyone who talked to a CSR was as knowledgeable as the people here, it would probably make the CSR's job a lot easier. Could companies train their employees better? Of course they could. But people could also educate themselves about the equipment/programming/technical side of things.
I blame companies 100% for poor CSR training. Most companies do seem to train poorly or not at all. Other companies do try and train, but do not weed out the people who can't seem to learn. Either way, the company is to blame.
That said... while customer knowledge is helpful, if the CSR doesn't know what he/she is doing then it only adds to the frustration for the customer. Imagine going into surgery and finding out that you were more knowledgable than your surgeon about the operation you were about to undergo... NOT a good feeling!
Also, those same CSRs could "educate themselves" as well... independent of the proper training they are clearly not receiving.
I recently spent over a half hour with a nice guy in the Phillipines regarding a DSL problem I was having the other night. I knew it was not my problem (a system failure) but he only knew how to go down his checklist. Ultimately AT&T fixed the problem while I was on the phoneline independent of anything he was asking me to do... I told him at the end of the call that it would really help him out if AT&T would inform their frontline TSRs of a system problem so they wouldn't have to waste time diagnosing problems that are not theirs to diagnose. I noted to him that suddenly within the last 10 minutes their phones had been slammed (the wait time was 5+ minutes when I called) with customers, so it's not like we all suddenly were running Windows wrong or something... He thanked me for being patient and courteous.. and I told him he had been friendly as well and that in this case I understood it was a lack of communication from the company that resulted in all that time diagnosing a problem that was systemic.
Anyway, the gyst here is I put the blame where it is due.. but in the meantime, it doesn't help anyone just knowing where the blame is.