Someone on another forum received their sponsorship approval yesterday having sent their application on October 24th, so it would appear they are making some progress! Hopefully the forthcoming update will reflect this...
The call center guys just quote what is on the website. I have the email confirming receipt of my application but I can not log in to ecas. I have tried the UCI,receipt number and file number.
I had the same problem, I'd been trying to log on since I received the email with no luck. Eventually I heard about 'Ecas Tracker' which tracks your Ecas for you and notifies you by email as soon as there's an update. I signed up, and it also allows you to list common misspellings etc, and tries multiple combinations and entries to try and log you on. It turned out the reason I couldn't log on was because I was listing my place of birth as England, when CIC had in fact put me under United Kingdom and Colonies (which is technically incorrect, but nevermind!).
But the tracker checks all this for you, it checks all common mistakes for your name and location so it's a really useful tool