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Hangout Contact's Name Appearing as Group of Names


Oct 5, 2014
I have a Moto X phone, running KitKat 4.4.4

The other day I attempted to create a group text (for the first time) in the new Hangouts between two folks I regularly text with - let's call them contact 1: John Jones and contact 2: Steve Smith. It went badly. Not only did I not end up sending a group text (MMS) - it only went to John Jones, but whatever I did turned the appearance of John Jones into what appears as a group of contacts ("Steve Smith, John Jones, John Jones").

I have cleared all John Jones threads and app cache and app data, trying to get as close as my phone will let me to re-installing Hangout. Nothing helps. Curiously, it is only appearing as "Steve Smith, John Jones, John Jones" in three spots: Hangouts notifications, the list of hangout message conversations, and in any active text conversation window with John Jones. He even shows a three person circle icon associated with him in these three spots.

John is still just John Jones in my contacts (with his single icon-photo). And he is still just John Jones when I search for him in Hangouts to start a new conversation, or add him to a MMS (I did figure out how to do that correctly, by the way). This leads me to think attempting to purge John from my Google contacts entirely, and then find and add him again, won't solve my problem. In "contacts," he is fine And I can't find this Frankenstein "Steve Smith, John Jones, John Jones" contact in any list of contacts to delete. It's just that the moment I start that text conversation he shows up as "Steve Smith, John Jones, John Jones."

It is possible that I inadvertently chose "add to contacts" when trying to create a group text (though that would have been amazingly clumsy of me considering the "New group MMS" option sits right below "add to contacts" in the right hand drop down). In truth, I can't recall the exact steps that lead to this problem as I wasn't considering it rocket science at the time.

In my reading around forums it seems possible that there is a Hangouts server in the cloud that may need a week or two to clear its own record of "Steve Smith, John Jones, John Jones," but being impatient, and annoyed at how Hangout is now muddling two people I regularly text with, I thought I'd write in here for any advice. Also, despite my clearing of cache and app data, Hangouts always shows my complete history of conversations when I open it back up (yes after phone restarts, etc..). I'm reluctant to attempt telling the Hangout App to "uninstall updates" at this point as it doesn't seem like it will solve things.

Any and all wisdom appreciated.



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