Program & Account Admins
If you are trying to uploading data into Message and keep running into errors that prevent you from uploading the file at all or in its entirety. This guide will outline potential error codes and how to resolve them within your CSV file. To start navigate to the Import Contacts option in the Programs Tab and import your file of choice (this article can help with the details). If your error is not listed below, or you are unsure what the error is or how to resolve it, please reach out to support.
How to View Errors
After a file is imported, there are two types of messages that display on the Import Contacts page. The first is a failure error message, this will display a failure under the status column and under the results column you can view the number of errors that caused this column to fail. By clicking on the Red “View X errors” you can open the import results. This will display the column name, error that occurred, and row number that it occurred in. This is to aid you in correcting the error.
Not all errors will cause the entire file to reject if you select “Skip the contact and continue the import” on the Import File page. Some errors will only cause the row in which the error occurs to be rejected but the rest of the file accepted. This will display in blue after the import, stating the number of contacts added, ignored, and updated. The number of ignored contacts are where potential errors are.
By clicking on the blue link under the results column, you can open the import results. This will give more details on the file, and if there is a “View errors that caused X contacts to be ignored” as the last line, you can click “View errors” to learn what these errors were that caused the file to be rejected. This will also have the column name, error that occurred, and row to aid in fixing the original file.
What went wrong?
Unrecognized Variable: variable name – The variable specified has not yet been created for this program or the header has been mislabeled, this will cause the whole file to reject.
Duplicate CSV Column: column name – There are two of the same column so the system does not know which is the correct column and will cause the whole file to be rejected.
Duplicate customer_id within the CSV – There are two rows with the same customer_id in the file so the system is unable to determine which row should have the customer_id and will reject both rows but not the whole file.
A participant with customer_id "customer_id here" is already enrolled in the program – The customer id specified within the quotes is already in use in this program, but the CSV is attempting to assign it to a different contact. This will cause the row to be ignored.
Duplicate phone within the CSV – There are two rows with the same phone number within the file so they system is unable to determine which row should have the phone number and will reject both rows but not the whole file.
A participant with phone 'phone number here' is already enrolled in the program – The phone number specified is already in use with this program, but the CSV is attempting to assign it to a different contact. This will cause the row to be ignored.
Could not parse 'phone number here' as Phone – The phone number has an error, either it is the wrong number of digits (not 10 or 11 digits) or has an area code that does not exist. This will ignore the row.
Could not parse ‘field information here’ as field name – The information within the cells of the CSV do not match the format specified for this field. This is most commonly seen with dates being incorrectly formatted, but also any of the field types outside of String can potentially reject incorrect formats and ignore the row.
How can I fix it?
- If the variable already exists under a different name (this is verifiable in the Manage Fields tab within Programs), go to the excel and rename the variable with what the variable name says in Message. The name cannot contain spaces or capitals.
- If the variable does not exist, go to Programs – Manage Fields and create the program. Link to Field Creation guide.
- If it displays “ ” for a column name and it is within row 1, this is because it interpreted blanks as having information. Highlight the blank columns following the filled in columns by clicking and holding on the header with a letter and dragging that to the right to highlight more columns. Then right click and select delete columns. Save the file and attempt to import again.
Duplicate CSV Column
First, determine if they are truly duplicates by comparing both columns within excel.
- If they are duplicates, delete one of the duplicates and import the corrected file.
- If they are not duplicates, resolve what the real names of the columns should be and import the corrected file.
Duplicate customer_id within the CSV
Open the CSV and determine if they are duplicates or if a customer_id has mistakenly been assigned to the wrong contact by reviewing the rows specified.
- If it is saying duplicates for rows that after the last contact and are blank, the system mistook empty rows as having data. Click and hold on the number of the first blank row and drag downward to highlight several rows. Right click, select “delete rows”, and save the file. Reattempt importing the file.
A participant with customer_id "customer_id here" is already enrolled in the program
The customer_id is a unique identifier for each contact and is how our system matches rows in a file to contacts on Message to be able to correctly update contacts. It’s required and important that customer_ids are unique and that is why rows with an already existing customer_id is rejected.
To resolve this error, open the CSV and find the duplicate customer id and find the contact within Message as well. This can be done using advanced search to match the customer_id in question. Determine which contact should be assigned the ID. If the contact within the CSV file should have the customer_id and the one currently on Message is incorrect, you will need to follow these steps (link to knowledge base article) to use the signalvine_id to change the customer_id of the contact before you can add the contact within the file. If the contact in the file has a mistake, correct it to the correct customer_id and re-upload the file.
If you have leading 0s in your customer_id that excel removes, this can cause issues with matching customer_id in the CSV to the correct contact in Message. To preserve leading zeros, open your CSV file and highlight the customer_id column by clicking on the letter column header. Right click and select “Format Cells”. Select the Custom Option under Category, then select the 0 and enter within the type area a 0 for each digit within your customer_ids (if you have 5 digit ids, then put 5 zeros, 10 digit id, put 10 zeros, etc). This will put however many zeros are needed to bring the number in customer_id to the correct number of digits.
This is the view for inputting the zeros under the Category – Custom Type
This is what the photo example above will resolve as, with 5 digits in the customer_id column.
If your customer_id within Message is currently missing the leading zeros, then you will need to correct them with this guide before you are able to import the new file with the correct customer_ids.
Duplicate phone within the CSV
Like customer_ids, phones must be unique to the contact to prevent duplicate messages from being sent to the same number. This often occurs when siblings share a phone and therefore only one contact can be assigned. If you have questions on how best to handle multiple contacts having the same phone number, reach out to your account team to discuss solutions.
Go to the rows specified in the import results errors and determine if the two contacts are the same contact or two different contacts. If they are the same contact, delete one row and import the file. If they are different contacts, determine which contact should have the phone number and correct the phone numbers before importing the file.
A participant with phone "phone here" is already enrolled in the program
Open the CSV file and locate the contact whose phone number is already enrolled in the program, also use the advanced search to find phone number as well to find the contact that already exists. Compare them to determine if they are the same contact but with different customer_ids or if they are different contacts.
- If they are the same contact but the customer_id is different, determine if the contact on Message or the contact in the CSV has the correct phone number. If the contact on Message has the correct customer_id, correct the one in the file to reflect the correct customer_id and import the file. If the contact within the CSV has the correct customer_id, please follow this guide to correct the one on Message before importing the file that found this error. If you are having issues with Excel dropping leading 0s in front of the customer_id (e.g. 000123), please see section “A participant with customer_id "customer_id here" is already enrolled in the program” for a guide on how to format the column to preserve the leading zeros.
- If they are different contacts with the same phone number, determine which contact should have this phone number. If both share this phone number, only one contact is able to have the phone number associated with them to prevent duplicate messages. Contact your Account Team to find the best way to resolve duplicate contacts within your programs.
Could not parse 'phone number here' as Phone
The phone number is invalid for either having 9 or fewer digits or 12 or more digits or an area code that does not exist. Contact the person in question and obtain the correct phone number to correct the file and import the corrected information. Incorrect area codes generally begin with a 1, these do not exist but should not be confused with country code (+1-100-000-0000 would be rejected, but +1-555-555-5555 would be accepted as the 1’s a country code).
Could not parse ‘field information here’ as field name
The exact content of this error depends on the field type as the content of the row that was ignored does not match the format required. To check what format the field requires, go to Programs – Manage Fields. Each row on this page is a separate field and the type column denotes the required format. There is a Glossary with examples at the bottom of the page.
Different field types, their definitions, and examples
The most common error is for dates being formatted in the excel default MM/DD/YYYY instead of the required format of YYYY-MM-DD. To correctly format your date fields, open the spreadsheet and highlight the date column by clicking on the letter at the top of the column. Then right click and select format cells. Choose Category – Date and select under Type the Year-Month-Day format and click OK.
This is the view of selecting the accepted date format under the Category – Date Type
This is what the photo example above will resolve as, with the acceptable date format.
Repeat the process with all date columns, save the file, and import it into Message.
Another common error is Boolean fields not accepting “true” or “false” variations. Boolean fields can only accept “TRUE” or “FALSE”. To quickly replace all incorrect variations within the file, open the file and highlight the column of interest by clicking on the letter in the column header. Click the Magnifying Glass in the upper right corner of the spreadsheet and select “Replace” or in the “Tell me” search bar at the top search for “Find and replace”.
In the “Find what:” search type in the variation of true that you have (true, True, yes, YES, etc) and in the “Replace with:” type “TRUE” and then select “Replace All”.
Example of what to fill in to replace incorrect True variations (yes) for TRUE Booleans
Repeat this for all variations of TRUE, and then all variations of FALSE. You can check if everything has been replaced by clicking “Sort and Filter” and select “Filter” for the column. If you click the drop down and see anything other than TRUE or FALSE, repeat the process above to replace it as it will be rejected upon import.