This is probably on of the more complex areas to understand. Since the gift card usually applies to multiple retailers and different stores, the card tends to be managed by the mall and in this specific context they are allowed to charge fees such as an activation fee and ongoing service charges for cards that are not used within a specific time frame. The total value of the card can quickly diminish if you are not aware of this. It's important to recognize that these cards can be treated differently than traditional gift cards for specific dollar amounts and therefore you should read the fine print and endeavor to use them within their alloted time period if at all possible.
There are limits to what they can charge for fees and we recommend checking out the BC Consumer Protection site for more specific details.