If I import a spread sheet with contacts and phone numbers and:

  • I choose to update duplicate contacts
  • I choose the same phone location and phone type of an existing, matching contact

Then, the existing phone number will be replaced with the one I'm importing.

That is reasonable for many workflows - but what if I want to add the number to the record and not overwrite anything? I know I can create more and more phone types but maybe there is a better way?

  • I'm really not sure whether the answer is: that's a feature request - to add a "Add as new" checkbox to the import screen or whether there is a way to do this that I'm not thinking of.
    – Jamie
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 22:01

2 Answers 2


Use the API CSV Importer and import to the Phone entity which will always add new entries.

  • Thank you! Perfect.
    – Jamie
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 14:44

Andy's answer is correct, but perhaps the more correct answer is "you don't want to". When you have multiple phones of the same location/phone type, saving one overwrites the others.

There's been a lot of debate about this, but ultimately, having multiple of the same phone/location type means that some can't ever be exported/found in reports.

  • I think you are right in most work flows. In this case, the group is working with a population that cycles through cell phones without much clarity on which ones are no longer in use and which ones are. The other half of this request is finding a report that simply concatenates all available phone numbers into a column.
    – Jamie
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 14:48
  • if on drupal the latter could be done via a View - may be of no help to you though
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 22:12
  • Jamie - if your organization has a unique need that isn't easily met out of the box, it may be worth building a custom report or similar. Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 14:06

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