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Old October 20th, 2020, 04:02 AM   #1
JesperMP
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OT. Whatsapp for the PC ?

A bit off-topic, but maybe relevant for others.

The scenario is that several of my companys travelling service people wants to communicate with me over Whatsapp. This because regular cell phone can be quite expensive in some countries.
I am however not so keen on having Whatsapp on my cellphone. My previous experience is that my whatsapp ID gets known by customers who then misuse it to get quick support also out of business hours, i.e in the middle of the night for example.

Therefore I was thinking on installing Whatsapp on my work PC. My work PC I only use during work-hours (obviously), and I can then use a headset while I conveniently have documents and programs available on the PC at the same time.

When I check out the Windows version of whatsapp, it says in the description that it must be paired with a cellphone. It says that the messages are 'conveniently' mirrored on the two devices.
Is that correct ? The PC version is merely an extension of the smartphone app ?
Is there no way that I can have whatsapp on my PC without that I must allow whatsapp on my cellphone ?
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Old October 20th, 2020, 04:19 AM   #2
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Yes, that is right, I really didn't want WhatsApp on my phone, but my customers use it to help with their customer support. My way round it was to get a second phone, it gets switched off at night. And you can limit who can contact you via WhatsApp by limiting who is in your contact list on the phone.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 04:29 AM   #3
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Hi Jesper you could consider skype for business/ microsoft teams or even zoom for this purpose. If your service guys have wifi they should be ok to use those alternatives. I agree whatsapp is a good tool but i also get your reasoning. I even had a customer send me a facebook post before asking for support
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Old October 20th, 2020, 05:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanG View Post
Yes, that is right, I really didn't want WhatsApp on my phone, but my customers use it to help with their customer support. My way round it was to get a second phone, it gets switched off at night. And you can limit who can contact you via WhatsApp by limiting who is in your contact list on the phone.
This.

I have always had a personal and business phone, the business one gets switched off when I get home, comes back on when walk into the office. Life is too short to get bothered 24x7 by work phone calls and emails.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 06:34 AM   #5
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The service guys seems to use whatsapp, almost an 'industry standard' I think. But I will try to suggest Skype.

I used to juggle two cellphones. I was quite stubborn even, didnt want my private and work phone numbers to be mixed together. But it was such a PIA with the two phones that I gave in. Now there is a work phone no that gets forwarded to my cell phone. Outside business hours it is blocked. Does not even go to record a message. That works fine. But it does mean I dont have a separate cellphone to install whatsapp on.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 06:41 AM   #6
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Can I have two whatsapp IDs on the same phone ?
And can I dynamically enable/disable IDs ?
Maybe even automatically have one ID being enabled only within business hours ?

If so, that could be the solution to me.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 06:41 AM   #7
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Unless you are the company - have your company get you a WhatsApp only phone.

Set it up, put WhatsApp on your PC and never turn on the phone unless you want to use WhatsApp away from your desk.

EDIT: 2 IDs = no - the account is tied to the telephone number
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Old October 20th, 2020, 06:50 AM   #8
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Hmm...
I guess its is not the phone but the SIM that must be tied to the whatsapp ID.
I could get a one-time use SIM card just to setup whatsapp.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 06:59 AM   #9
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Not sure about your country, but here in America grocery stores and gas stations sell prepaid phones, referred to here as Drop-Phones.

I got one for $5.00 that came with 60 minutes call time and some online data, used it a few times and now it's a paperweight. If I ever need it all I have to do is buy another airtime gift card and it will be given a new phone number if it has been 90 days of inactivity.

Trying the SIM card route here can be a problem as phones bought through cell carriers are usually locked to their SIM cards only and putting in another faults the phone operating system with a message that "the SIM card installed is not a Verizon SIM card". If the phone is old enough, depending on the carrier policy, they may unlock it for you.

The only problem with that though is sometimes after an update, or new PC, to open WhatsApp you have to approve it on your phone app, so the phone will still have to be active.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 07:07 AM   #10
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Hi Jesper my (samsung) phone has dual sim capability (real sim and electronic e-sim)

It maybe your phone could support 2 numbers and you could allocate whatsapp like that but i have not tried it
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Old October 20th, 2020, 07:14 AM   #11
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Another option - Google PlayStore has an app called 2ndLine that gives you a second phone line on your phone with calls and texts.

If you have an iPhone the AppStore probably has similar.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 07:25 AM   #12
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As someone that is now installing OSI PI over Teams... Whatsapp wouldn't cut it.

Teams has an app for iPhone (I assume for Android too)... so I probably would look at that since it can also be used to assist customers directly.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 07:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Automation View Post
[..]The only problem with that though is sometimes after an update, or new PC, to open WhatsApp you have to approve it on your phone app, so the phone will still have to be active.
Yeah. At first it sounded like an enticing way to trick whatsapp with the dormant SIM card, but as you write there will inevitably be a gotcha. And probably it will hit me on the day that I am desperate to talk to someone via Whatsapp.

cjd1965 and I_Automation, I could use a single SIM card just temporarily.
I dont want to have it installed permanently because then I will get whatsapp calls 24/7.

It seems that any which way, with Whatsapp it simply gets awkward. I hoped there was a quick fix.

Skype seems to do what I want with no fuss. I am now negotating with IT that our service people get Skype for Business on their phones.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 11:55 AM   #14
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I just set my phone to do not disturb.

Will still ring for certain people, or if someone calls x amount of times within a time period.

Yes if the customer etc.. calls on a fast enough time frame, a call will come through. However, they aren't going to get help, just me ****ed off at the other end of the line.
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Old October 21st, 2020, 03:15 AM   #15
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Don't over-think it. Use it on your phone and set it to not push notifications or set your do not disturb rules accordingly. That way you can use it on your terms. On my phone, I only have badge notifications enabled for any messenger service. If it's that urgent, they can call.

The thing with customers always contacting you can work in your favour as well. Make it known to them that time you spend on any messenger, phone or remote service can be invoiced like the rest of your time and that contacting you on a messenger service does not push their work ahead in the line (Unless it's a breakdown or emergency on a case by case basis). Your messenger service then allows you to have an accurate record of that communication.


I used to share a similar opinion to others' who have posted here, but over the years colleagues and customers have resorted to Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, LINE, Teams, Zoom... Whatever it takes to get the job done. I find WhatsApp and Teams are now great tools for working remotely and troubleshooting. In the last ~6 months we have commissioned a number of systems remotely and messenger services have been a huge help.
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