Text message number is already being used by another user

LENA does not accept duplicate phone numbers. If you enter a caregiver phone number that already exists in the system, this error will appear.

The most common reasons for the error are:

  • Attempting to enroll siblings
  • Re-enrolling a previously enrolled family
  • Data entry error (typo in the existing or new phone number)

If you're trying to enroll siblings...

We don’t recommend having siblings participate at the same time. What the parent learns with one child carries over to the other child, so enrolling just one sibling effectively reaches both without using as many resources (materials, participant slots, processing time, etc.).

If circumstances require you to enroll both children, using two participant slots for one family, the system needs a unique phone number for each child, and ideally two participating caregivers.

If no other adult caregiver is available, you'll have to leave the phone number blank for the second child. This means the caregiver will get reports links, Snapshot links, and any other program-specific texts/links for only the first child. You will have to send paper copies / PDFs for the other child, and enter data manually. (You can get around this for Snapshot if you enter an email address for the instance of the caregiver whose phone number is blank. You would then send the link for only the second child by email, from the Snapshots screen. Names are not used in the Snapshot links, so the caregiver will have to remember which child she fills out from a text, and which she fills out from email.)


1. Use the system data search to find out why the phone number already exists.

For best results, an account administrator / program manager with access to the entire partner tree in LENA Online should complete the following steps:

  1. Choose the highest level organization you have access to. Doing this broadens your search to capture all caregivers in all groups (current and closed).
  2. Type all or part of the phone number into the system data search, and hit enter.
  3. Scan the results for a Caregiver with this same texting number.
  4. Click the edit icon to open the caregiver tab of the existing child's record. You'll see the child's name in the "breadcrumbs" at the top of the screen.
  5. Click the Edit tab to see the child's organization, group, and status so that you can decide what to do next.
LENA Online™ - Google Chrome
What if no caregivers appear in my search results?

The caregiver could be in a different part of your organization's hierarchy. Ask a user who can see all organizations and groups to follow the above steps, or contact [email protected] to investigate.

2. Move child or remove the phone number.

From here, the next steps depend on the situation. You can:

  • Move the existing child and caregiver to their current group. Choose the correct Functional Group in the dropdown, change Enrollment Status to Enrolled, and click Submit.


  • Delete the phone number from the existing child's caregiver in order to use it with the current child's caregiver

Contact LENA support if you'd like help deciding what to do, or to request any of the following:

  • move a child across organizations (e.g., from one program type to another, or one partner/agency to another)
  • merge duplicate child entries, where both children already have recording data or Snapshots
  • move attendance records, if applicable
  • delete a duplicate child entry that has no data