The chat room do work. There is four rooms in there, and most often if someone is there, they will be in lounge. You can see if someone is in any of other rooms. The 'Friends and Family' room is where significant others, mostly ladies, can talk if any of the men in lounge are uncomfortable with a lady present. The 'Treehouse' is just an extra room to go to if the talk in the lounge is triggering or you just need a break from it or something. The 'Survivor support' room is more reserved for serious and possibly triggering issues, rather then some of the 'small talk' that will often happen in the lounge. You also have the ability to create your own room, and make it either public or private.
I have some issues sometime of getting 'bump' out often, and then other times, I can be in there for some hours without difficulty. I think it just is my connection.
If you do not get a response from a person in there, remember they may be doing other things on computer and not know you are there; or they are away of computer; or perhaps they just want to be able to sit in there and 'be' somewhere, but not feeling like talking. It is not meant to be personal, I am sure. If I am in there, I do try to see when someone else come in and at least say hello and ask how they do.
It may be less use right now because for U.S. it is holiday weekend and some people may be away from home.