Contacts: Solved problem of contact records missing after importing CSV file

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After much trial-and-error I solved my problem, so I'm posting this where other people might find it in the hope of saving them some aggravation.

I maintain/manage my contacts in my Google account. A few times a week I have to export those Google contacts and import them into RingCentral. (That's really, really stupid, but there's no other way of "managing" RingCentral contacts. Are you listening RingCentral?)

Anyway, I have a lot of contacts that have no name, only a company. Many of those are restaurants that I call to make reservations, or place take-out orders. Some are tech support numbers at Sprint, Go Daddy, RingCentral, etc. Some are airlines, hotels, rental car companies, etc. In each case the first name and last name are blank, but they have a company name. RingCentral allows this as long as you have EITHER a first name, last name OR company.

For a long time I've been puzzled by the fact that all of those contacts (the ones with only a company) are not being imported. This week I opened a support ticket (which was no help at all after five full days) and invested several hours in an attempt to finally fix this increasingly annoying problem.

My procedure, to avoid duplicates or old information, is to delete all of my RingCentral contacts, then import a clean set from Google. This ensures that my phone system is up-to-date at least for a few minutes after each import.

Even though I have no RingCentral contacts when importing, I have been selecting the import option "Overwrite existing record with the new record." The reason for selecting this is that I never want duplicates, and I never ever want to keep the old record, so this seems like the best/only choice.

The other two import options both refer to "Keep current existing record..." which doesn't seem appropriate or useful since I've deleted all of the "current existing records" and I never want to "keep" anything.

What I learned is that during the import RingCentral will OVERWRITE not only "existing" records, but also every record as they are being imported. And it will ONLY consider the first and last name when testing for a duplicate record. So, as all my restaurants and other companies are being imported they are constantly overwriting the previous record (since the blank name is a duplicate of the previous blank name). The only remaining contact like that is the very last record in my CSV file.

This behavior, in my humble opinion, is completely incorrect since the company names are different so the record clearly isn't a duplicate, and RingCentral's documentation says that a company-only record is legitimate.

The workaround for this problem is to select the import option that says "Keep current existing record and add new record imported from import file." This works for me, and you, as long as you delete all your RingCentral contacts before importing. 

I finally have all of my contacts in my phone system for the first time since "upgrading" to a RingCentral system. It's a good feeling.

Hope this helps someone out there.
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Robert Stoeber

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Posted 2 years ago

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