Kohls gift cards are marketed online.
Other gift card sellers, when marketing gift cards online, will send a series of emails to the purchaser informing then of the exact date to expect delivery. These emails are usually accompanied by URLs to tracking sites which can be used to determine the precise location of the merchandise.
When purchasing from Kohls, one is more likely to see an email with the following content:
Thank you for shopping Kohls.com!
Your order confirmation number is 472152087.
You'll find a complete summary of your order below.
Please print this e-mail for your records.
Delivery Information: Your Standard Ground shipment will arrive by December 24
You will receive another e-mail from us when your order is packed and ready to be shipped.
If you have any other questions, please e-mail email@example.com.
Thanks for shopping Kohls.com! We hope to see you online again, soon.
In this case, the purchaser NEVER receives any definitive information as to exactly when the order will arrive.
Consequently, in the case above, the purchaser has no other option but to anxiously wait until the 24th, hoping not to disappoint the eventual receiver of the gift.
Since the original email from Kohls does not contain a phone number to use when attempting to reach customer service, when the order does not arrive in time, the purchaser has no choice but to send an email to "firstname.lastname@example.org", or to spend additional time and effort combing the Kohls website for customer service contact information.
Unlike other gift card retailers, the Kohls cards come in a standard envelope clearly marked with the Kohls logo on them. This envelope is delivered using the most inexpensive USPS mail, and with no definitive warning as to when it will be delivered. Easy prey for those of us who would like to examine the contents of people's mailboxes just before the holidays.
When the gift cards don't arrive, and the purchaser contacts Kohls customer service, the purchaser may eventually be told that the cards were stolen and had been used. Kohls will refuse to "make good" on the purchase, and instead will suggest to the purchaser that they file a claim against the credit card provider, which in this case was Discover.
That's where the beauty of the scam takes place. Since the new owner of the gift card can't afford to get caught, they are probably not going to have time to be able to redeem the entire value of the card, and they will eventually dispose of it. Discover, of course, has paid Kohls the entire value of the gift card, which means that every time one of these gift cards are stolen Kohls is making a considerable profit. That, in of itself, is enough motivation for Kohls to continue with this policy. If companies like discover continue to pay off the claims, there is no one left to complain.