Department-store 'Gift Cards' have never been a controversial issue to the vast majority of national populations -- either stores offer them or they don't.
In the past and to some extent in the present time, however, companies demonstrate angst about gift-card programs which have been demanded as a use of influence-networking and often-aggressive network polling strategies, giving us programs that tell us "...if this card is not used for 24 consecutive months, a service fee of $1.00 per month will be deducted from your balance until the card is used or depleted." -- a stipulation which actually describes the physiological effects of aggressive telephone/other call-demand strategies which deplete respondent/subject health and monopolize company time as well, often with personnel 'plants'.
As a result from e-mail query made to Sears this week, as example, about balance remaining with regard to two gift cards in my possession, a reply e-mail claims that my request is "unclear". Older gift cards have numbering sequences which have been discontinued or do not use ID or PIN identifiers, and can be categorically claimed to be invalid when companies are queried. Although residing in the state of FL, with past gift-card use in CA, applicable laws with regard to gift-card redemption remain obscurely enforced as a result from the demand-call strategies which so offensively demand new programs from companies, and then routinely demand other influence-networking results when customers are "satisfied".