I had heard it before that I should be careful and always check the packaging of the gift cards, to make sure they weren’t tampered with. But I have never had an issue, even when purchasing GCs in not so perfect packaging. Neither did I personally know anyone who has has any such issues, until last week.
A personal friend of mine, Tim, bought $200 VGCs at Staples in Nassau County, NY. He purchased 9 of them, $1800 with his Ink card. More than a week later, he attempted to load them to his BB card at Walmart, and eight of them worked, but one didn’t. After checking the card online he saw that his card was used in California. He didn’t inspect the packaging very carefully, but he was sure that all the tabs were on.
He was able to recover the funds, after a few phone calls and emailing a copy of his receipt. It took about two weeks to get the money back.
So the moral of this story is to use the GC as soon as possible. I also keep them sometimes for over a week, but rarely. Also check the packaging and try to go for the crisp ones. I have noticed some Vanilla Visa GC that seemed to open up pretty quickly when removing the packaging. It seemed like it wasn’t glued properly. But on both occasions, I rushed home, checked the balance and got rid of them without a problem.
Have you had any such experiences? If so, were there any signs of tampering and how did you deal with it?