Steinhorn recalls, "He had just ordered four tickets online to an exciting amusement park we typically treat the kids to once a year, and he needed to get them printed." But the printer wasn't working, and Steinhorn couldn't troubleshoot and fix it over the phone.
"I know my son's e-mail ID and password -- as every parent of an 11-year-old should -- so I went into his account and found the e-mail confirmation number, so that he could take that to the entrance gate and have the tickets reprinted there," he recalls. But Steinhorn got more than he bargained for. He found a confirmation for 12 tickets at a cost of about $500 charged to his credit card.
"I can only assume that he hit Enter a couple times too many," Steinhorn says. "I was much less concerned about the printer than I was about the season's [worth of] passes to the park I had just funded."
The story does have a happy ending. The Steinhorn family did make it to the amusement park -- several times, in fact, since they had a dozen tickets and never managed to get a refund for the extras. "And looking on the bright side, in the end it was just a printer jam, so the actual equipment failure did not end up costing me anything."
Accenture expert makes multiple connections
Chris Crawford, a global applications architect for internal functions at Accenture in Chicago, recalls the panicked call he received from a good friend who had just purchased and set up a very expensive sound system for his home. His friend couldn't discern any significant difference in sound quality -- despite the great amount of money he had paid for the system.
As it turned out, a woofer on one of the speakers wasn't hooked up properly. Crawford adjusted the wire and was an instant hero.
Crawford says he's especially busy with requests around the holidays when friends and family want to know which electronic gadgets he recommends for gift-giving. He even started an internal blog at Accenture where colleagues post their favorite tips and recommendations.
"I like computers so much that it's fun to be an expert," Crawford says. "It can also come in handy as an ice breaker at cocktail parties."
Amerisource Bergen ace gives new meaning to "software support"
Tom Murphy, senior vice president and CIO at Amerisource Bergen, a $70 billion pharmaceutical services company based in Valley Forge, Pa., says he has certainly received his fair share of tech fix-it requests throughout his career. Once, for instance, he was summoned to a former CEO's home to fix a phone. (He plugged it back in.)