I have said only half jokingly that Linden Lab recycles bugs. It has been going on for so long it is impossible to believe it is not, at least in part, deliberate.
Tateru recently posted about this and started me scratching the itch.
I recently had a billing issue, even though I has successfully bought linden$ with my new credit card, it suddenly stopped working when they went to bill my tier. To summarize a long story; 4 calls to LL billing support (including being hung up on once); 2 calls to my bank. Literally hours on the phone for them to reset my cc data and me reenter it. An interesting side observation, what you see at your account screen may disagree with what billing sees on their servers.
During this billing adventure I tried, at LL’s request, to submit a ticket. I could not even access the ticket system (I have a premium account w/ ¼ sim of tier). An alt was able to access the system but the second drop menu was blank so she could go no farther. Another vital support system that is frequently broken.
Region crossings are and have always been problematic. It has been much worse in the past, but it has never really been FIXED! I know, there is a very complicated set of server interactions involved. When something just will not stay fixed with band-aids and patches it is time to look deep under the hood and find a new way of doing it (throw out the carburetor and go with fuel injection).
Inventory loss is just database stuff, it should not be as difficult as they make it seem. The technology is proven. We should never have items missing from inventory and if for some reason we do (maybe a viewer issue) it should be easy to recover.
Chat lag is much improved but still with us, just enough to be annoying.
Mainland support — forget-about-it — the usual response is “we don’t do that” followed closely by “put in a ticket” which is responded to by “we don’t do that”. I have experienced some truly wonderful exceptions to this but it would not hurt them to (re)move linden plants along the road when they conflict with your build; or to smooth the roadside land to your build. My impression is that unless you get the right person in the right mood, support is minimal, service is nonexistent.
Second Life has, on the whole, improved over the years. There are deep seated issues both in code and with personnel that need to be addressed in a more fundamental way. Hopefully someone is looking at them instead of the latest game or outside project.