Dell Complicates Life for Home Businesses

I am fortunate in that I can run my business from my home.  I have a crack team of developers spread out all over the country and I can manage it all from here.  But working from home just got a little less convenient for guys like me.

A few months ago I ordered a new Dell Precision and had it delivered to a mailbox I rent for business use – I don’t want business mail intermingling with personal mail, and I definitely don’t want the UPS or FedEx truck coming through the neighborhood constantly.  Delivery was made and I was pleased.  I am a big fan of Dell.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.  I ordered an additional LCD from Dell to replace the CRT I had been using as a second monitor.  Imagine my surprise when the Dell representative told me that they could not deliver to my mailbox address!  Only three short months ago, they had delivered an entire system just fine.  The fellow from Dell explained that there had been enough cases of fraud for the company to institute a policy of not shipping to mailbox addresses anymore unless the product was paid for in full at the time of order.  I was using my Dell Financial account, therefore I was told that they had to ship directly to my home.

Now, I can see the logic behind this – nobody likes to be stolen from, and it is only prudent to take steps to prevent it.  But if Dell truly will not ship to a mailbox address such as the UPS store, Kinko’s, etc. then I can think of a lot of home business operators who are going to be feeling the pinch.  What happens to home business operators who live in areas that have laws regarding the type and frequency of business deliveries that are allowed at one’s residence?  What happens to home business owners (like myself) who simply don’t want the FedEx or UPS truck rumbling up to their door?

I have a hard time getting mad at Dell for trying to protect themselves, but at the same time, I find myself thinking that this could be a huge PITA for many home business operators.

It is humorous to note that my LCD ended up being delivered to my mailbox anyway.  What’s the story, Dell?