Am running CiviCRM 5.9.0 on WordPress 4.9.9, PHP 7.1.25.

When I use a contribution page for memberships that worked before on another hosting provider and on a previous version of CiviCRM, the unsupervised reserved dedupe rule worked fine. Now, every time someone renews their membership online, I get a duplicate record. Not sure when this broke, when we moved over from our old hosting provider, when I updated CiviCRM, or if there's another reason why it doesn't work. I do know that it definitely worked late last year when we started getting some early renewals for 2019 and the system was on our old provider, running an older version of Civicrm and possibly an older version of PHP.

If I manually run the rule, it brings up the duplicates and I can merge them. The merge screen shows that the email, first name and last name are exactly the same. In fact, if I enter the exact same contact information for all contact fields, it still doesn't dedupe.

There is an error in the error_log, and not sure if this is the reason: [14-Jan-2019 14:00:52 America/Toronto] PHP Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/xxx/public_html/wp-content/plugins/civicrm/civicrm/CRM/Contribute/Form/Contribution/Main.php on line 900. This line is contained in a "// return if this is express mode" section.

If I have to manually dedupe all of our online membership renewals, this will be a real pain, so any hints are greatly appreciated.

dedupe rules

Unsupervised rule

  • can you please attach screenshot of your unsupervised dedupe rule? Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 21:18
  • It's the default reserved one that comes with the install, so you can't see the contents. When you edit it, all you can do is change it from unsupervised to supervised or general. This did work before. I did try to replace it with my own that had the email with a weight of 1 and the first name with a weight of 1 with the total weight being 2. That didn't work either. So I deleted that test one and it's back to the default rule now. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 2:41
  • so you are taking about the equivalent of this dmaster.demo.civicrm.org/civicrm/contact/…
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 3:23
  • I am unable to log in or create an account to use this site. At the bottom of y question is the screen shot that shows all of the default dedupe rules that come with CiviCRM. In the Individual Rules section, the last entry is the Email (reserved) rule that is in place. In the second screen shot, you can see that because it's a reserved rule, you can't edit it or see what it does. Some of the research I've done about this default rule says that it checks email, first and last name, but I don't know if that's true. Nevertheless, it's the out of the box rule, so it should work. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 22:14
  • for demo site, fyi, the instructions are to just use demo / demo. my bad, i linked you to a page where you don't see that. if you go to home page ie dmaster.demo.civicrm.org then you see instructions
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


I am not sure if its somehow related to one of the regression for 5.9.0 for Anonymous user ACL permission which is fixed in 5.9.1. Would be worth trying after upgrading CiviCRM to 5.9.1 or applying patch from here!



  • Thank you! The 5.9.1 patch fixed this problem. Another proposed solution above about the different email addresses (billing/home) didn't apply. Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 18:00

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