How can I get SmartSheet to help with ongoing issue with sorting by contacts?

We stopped being able to reliably sort reports by any Contact column many weeks ago. What seems to be happening is that in some rows the contact's name is used for sorting purposes, and for other rows the contact's email is used. The renders sorting to be fairly useless.

I am sure there is a "workaround," but we have thousands of sheets and hundreds of reports so that is not a viable option.

I submitted a ticket to SmartSheet and they admitted it was a bug, but nothing was resolved and now they abruptly closed the case. Does anyone have advice for getting SmartSheet to respond?


  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @Sarah Carl

    On November 30th we released an update in reports to group together contacts based on the email address, not how the contact is displayed.

    Previously, in a report that was grouped by a contact field, each contact was treated as separate even if the Email address was the same. Now, contacts with the exact same email address will be treated as a single contact and grouped as a single group.

    Is it possible that the two different sets of Sorted contacts you see are due to two different Contact values, with slightly different emails?

    Ex. versus the contact

    This would then make the contacts seen as separate values, since the emails are different even though the display name in the cell is the same, which would cause the Sort to potentially be out of order. Are the rows associated with the same sheet(s) in their sections?

    Let me know if this isn't the issue.



  • Hi Genevieve,

    Thanks for your response. The timing on this issue definitely maps to the update that you reference. I have scrutinized the individual contacts which are sorting separately, and the names and the emails match are consistent for each contact. I don't want to share screenshots with names and emails publicly, but I have evidence!

    I pointed out in my communication with SmartSheet support that when a contact's rows are sorting in two groups, if I change the contact's name in one group to the contact's email , then refresh the report, all of that contact's rows will then appear together. However, this is only temporary, and eventually the email will change back to the contact name and the rows will sort separately again.

    I am fairly certain the issue is that for some rows the contact name is being used for sorting, and for other rows the email is being used. This is really obvious if you hit a chunk of Anns, Annes, and Annas, for example and can see the pattern of first initial, last name (email), versus first name last name.

    Is it possible that the update did not effect all rows?

    I appreciate your input!

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @Sarah Carl

    The update should have fixed this exact scenario, where as long as the email is the same it Groups the contacts together. I've been testing and I'm unable to re-create what you're seeing with my contacts. In some of my sheets I reference an email and in some I use a Contact, but they're still being grouped together as long as the email is the same:

    Are you entering the Contacts into each sheet in the same way? Ex. manually, through an Automation, or through a Form.

    It sounds like the Report is still grouping them, but each Contact is seen as having two distinct values so we would need to identify the difference between the two sections and why they're parsing as separate.

    I completely agree that you should not share private information publicly in the Community, but since I'm unable to recreate the issue, looking into your sheet set-up and column/data configuration is needed to pin-point the cause of your reports being incorrectly ordered. Please keep following-up with Support as they'll be able to work with you in a private channel where you can share these details and provide screen recordings or have a phone call to go through your data.

    Thank you!