It means exactly that! In other words, it’s not a bug but a notification. SwimTopia uses email addresses as the login rather than some made-up identity because email addresses are guaranteed to be unique. While it’s possible for people to share an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) there can only be one such email address in existence, much like a mailing address.
This message appears most often when manually adding a person from the People tab. If you experience this, the most likely reason is that the person is a member in a previous season. Use the search bar in People to find the person in another season:
If you don’t find them in one season, search other seasons. Once you find them in a previous season, add them to the current season. See the Help Center article: Managing People > Adding a Season Affiliation
During registration, SwimTopia does a pretty good job of matching people to existing members, even if they have not signed in first (for example, if your roster was imported from another swim team management solution). If the first and last names plus the email address are the same as an existing person, then the registration process automatically matches them to their historical information.
Manually adding a person via the People tab currently doesn’t automatically match people like the registration form so if the person’s email address is already in SwimTopia, even if everything matches, you will still see the message. In general, it’s better to have people use the registration form.
If the information isn’t identical—“Samuel” in one instance and “Sam” in another, or more commonly, Wilma registered with the “email@example.com” address one year and Fred is trying to use it this year (or on a different SwimTopia team)—you will see the “email address has already been taken” message.
If a parent has trouble with this, you as an admin can look them up in a previous season and see how they entered their name or who is using that email address and let them know what the “right” name is. If you can’t make this work, please contact your friendly Customer Happiness Team and provide the email address that’s proving troublesome along with as much other information as possible so we can find the person in our system and clean things up. No screenshots are required.
Another scenario where this can happen, is if a parent begins the registration process and then walks away or takes too long to complete payment etc, and times out. If they go back in within 30 minutes to try again, they will not be able to use the same email, since the system thinks it already exists.
We have a process that goes off about every 30 minutes to clear out incomplete registrations, but many times people try again before this process has taken place.
Contact Customer Happiness Team and we can merge the accounts if the parent ended up using another email to get through the registration process but wants their original email to be used.