On 12/24/07, I bought two gift cards for the family of a homeless boy that I tutor at a North Hollywood shelter -- a $50 card for groceries and a $50 for Sears department store. A few days later, the mother of the boy called to tell me that they had taken the bus to Sears, picked out their merchandise and then were unable to pay for it as the card had no credit on it.
I took the card back to Vons, and they said they couldn't put any credit on it and I would have to purchase another card, then wait for a refund of the $50 I paid for the original card.
I have called and gone in to the store, several times, to check the status of the refund, and no one ever gets back to me. It's now September 20th, and I've heard nothing, nine months later.