How we avoid and fix members creating duplicate accounts.
There are system checks carried out upon sign up of members, to ensure that you do not end up with memberships being duplicated.
When a member signs up using your website's membership or event registration forms, their details are saved in the system.
If at any time after this initial sign up, the member attempts to sign up again, the system will recognise the email address, first name and surname fields are the same, and will give a notification that the account already exists, and prompt the user to sign in. A link to retrieve their username and/or password is also available in this notification, should they have forgotten their login details.
WHY DO I HAVE DUPLICATE, INACTIVE MEMBERS?
The system carries out checks to ensure there are no duplicate members in your membership, or your events registrations. However, if a user completes a form on your site, that is not for membership or events, such as purchasing something from your store using express checkout, or if they subscribe to an email campaign or use the contact form etc, then their details are saved in the backend of your website (in Security), and they are marked as inactive, as they do not have a "log in account".
WHAT ABOUT MEMBERS WITH DUPLICATE MEMBER NUMBERS?
In some cases, members can subscribe to multiple products so the system will show duplicate member numbers but the products listed against the member will be different. See the example below.
In the event a member has accidentally signed up for a new product, you can safely "Remove Member" from the product without affecting their other products or account.
I SERIOUSLY THINK I HAVE A DUPLICATE MEMBER. HOW CAN THAT BE?
The only other situation where it can appear like you have a duplicate member is when a member signs up with the same name but enters a different username and/or email address. If this signup was unintentional you can simply "Remove Member" from the product and then delete the corresponding user from Security.