Do you automatically check the balance of gift cards prior to using them for purchase?

A co-worker received a gift card through the mail from a business thanking her for her "personalized service". It was a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant. Without thinking she took her two friends and went to lunch. The server returned and told her that the card had a zero balance. Upon checking on... show more A co-worker received a gift card through the mail from a business thanking her for her "personalized service". It was a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant. Without thinking she took her two friends and went to lunch. The server returned and told her that the card had a zero balance. Upon checking on the company, it was a company that did not exist. Someone obviously played a prank.
My question is this, if you received a gift card from a "business" that seemed reputable, would you still check the balance or would you simply use the card? I, myself, have to admit that I would have taken it for granted that it had a balance on it as well.
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