Farmer H has been sorting through the belongings he bought in those 18 unpaid-for storage units. You never know what you might find in there. Some things you can't see when you first glance in the door. He even had a desk that he was going to throw away, because it was missing a drawer, and then two days later found the drawer in a box. Lucky for him he'd saved the desk, and now has it ready to sell.
A couple days ago, he was talking to his buddy who buys storage units (a couple at a time, not 18 all at once). This is the buddy Farmer H hurt his butt for, by stumbling while carrying the other end of a table after the auction. Anyhoo, the buddy cautioned Farmer H not to throw away any gift cards he finds, because they usually still have money on them. Who saves a used-up gift card, right?
Well. Of course Farmer H found some gift cards. He asked me if I'd look them up for him. Not having a job any more really has limited Farmer H on his internet surfing. I said I would. But when he handed me the cards, I cautioned him not to be too optimistic about finding a fortune on them.
"Those cards look kind of dated. Not like the ones they sell now. They're probably pretty old."
"Yeah, but they never expire! There's no date on them."
I tried the Target card first. I looked up the website listed on the back, and punched in the long number and the other number. It didn't outright call it a PIN, but that's what it was. Of course the website kept giving me the message that those were not valid numbers. And I could see that they were. That I was entering the exact numbers listed on the back of the card. I tried several times, with the same result. I read every bit of information on the back of that Target gift card, and I came across the date of 2004.
I'm pretty sure those cards don't remain valid indefinitely. Think of the money that would be tied up in them. Money that the retail stores would rather have for themselves, than set aside for people who may decide to use their gift card in 15 or 20 years. If at all.
The other card didn't even have a website on it. So I called the 800 number listed on the back. It gave me an automated menu, and I followed along and punched in the numbers, which I'd found by scratching off (I'm really good at that task!) a silver strip on the back. The automated voice told me that my card was inactive, and that I should bring in my receipt and the card to check on the balance.
I'm pretty sure Farmer H doesn't have the receipt for that card. I'm pretty sure it's older than 2004. Or maybe the non-paying renter of that storage unit was a gift card thief, and never paid for either one!