Now my main isn’t a mage, so I’m going to let people who’s mains are mages disagree with any of the following, but I was a warlock back in Burning Crusade and I remember quite well the demands I got for portals as well as summons.
1. Politeness is key. “Might I trouble you for a port?” comes across a lot better than “port plz” or “port now”. How you make your first impression may determine whether the mage pretends to be afk, logs, ignores you, or responds and graciously helps you out.
2. Any rudeness or nasty language is the fast track for my DNP list [Do Not Port], also known as my ignore list. I may not respond because I’m AFK, or I’m dual boxing, or whatever. I might be busy or I might not feel like being bothered. Stringing a bunch of cuss words at me in chat to attempt to get me to respond will NOT go over well.
3. Tip and tip well. Guildies and friends are free. I’ve hopped countless times to port a guildie to Dalaran on a lowbie toon… And I’m happy to do it – see… someone did it for me! If I don’t know you from Adam, though, I’m taking time out of gaming to port you, random person 86, to a random destination. Offer a tip, especially a nice tip [give some of us a chance to refuse it], and you might very well make a nice friend in the mage. I needed a port on a lowbie on my “alt” server this afternoon. The mage refused a tip but I went and bought the reagent and sent them a nice little thank you note. Maybe it seems over the top? But I might need another port down the line… and maybe that mage will remember me and be kind enough to help me out again! With the portals going away, mages are likely to be overtaxed on giving out/selling portals. You want them to remember you well as a kind person!
4. If you want a summons from a lock, please note that it requires 3 people at the location to create the summoning stone and 2 of those people to summon from it. Don’t demand a summons from me and then tell me to “just get 2 more people”. I may not have 2 handy… and I’m certainly not going to pay them to help you, random person 293. Asking if I there are people available or if I’d be willing to help you find a group? Much more acceptable.