My customer community plus users can view contact fields as expected in related lists and list views, but when they click on a contact to view the full record, they see a permission denied message. This seems inconsistent and seems like a bug, although it could be a mistake in my security settings.

My external sharing settings are - Contact: controlled by parent - Account: Private

Permissions to the parent account are provided by manual sharing. I have confirmed that the users have the required access by going to the account, clicking on "Sharing" then "Expand list".

The users can see both the Account and Contact tabs, and the Contact tab shows a list of all the contacts as expected. Clicking on any contact gives a permissions error.

The problem is specific to Customer Community Plus users.

Has anyone else seen similar problems or know of a solution? Any suggestions welcome as sf support seem as stuck as I am.

  • Your issue is likely that sharing to the Account is provided via manual sharing and set to private. Try creating a sharing rule and see if that doesn't solve your issue. I have a suspicion that the manual sharing of the private Account isn't allowing the M-D to cascade to Contacts as it should and is only allowing the proper sharing of the Account, but not the detail on Contact to cascade. A sharing rule might solve the issue.
    – crmprogdev
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 20:16
  • Thanks for your help. Still battling with the same case with salesforce on this one. The behaviour is the same whether the account is shared by manual sharing or by a sharing rule. The problem doesn't exist with partner community licences, only customer community...
    – ttttt
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 17:47
  • I'm running into this issue with Customer Community Plus Users too. Right now, the only Contact record I can access is the record associated with the Community Plus User. All others get an Insufficient Privileges error. Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 15:04
  • I changed Contacts' OWD to Private and the Contacts were then shared. I don't even have a Sharing Rule giving access to Portals Users ... which seems very odd, but, hey, it's working. Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 15:22
  • Thanks for that - seems wrong, but works for me to. I'll add an answer.
    – ttttt
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


With thanks to Scott Pelak:

If you go to admin/security settings/sharing settings, then set contacts to be private, then this fixes the problem.

In the absence of sharing rules, you'd expect contacts to be private as indicated, but this does not appear to be the case.

  • Hmm, weird but yes, changing OWD sharing for Contact to private did the trick for me too. Thanks Scott. Now instead of not understanding why user could not access contact, I am wondering why they can, given that sharing is private and I have no share rules in place. It is working as if the contact OWD was controlled by parent for both internal and external users now.
    – donmac23
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 3:09

This only appears to affect Contacts with associated Customer Community Plus users.

If a Contact is linked to the Account, but does not have an active Customer Community Plus user associated, the record is not accessible to other community users under the same Account.

The root cause appears to be that the presence of a CCP user creates a manual share to the role that all community users under that account belong to.

For me this is a no-go since I need to see other contacts in the account, even those without active users.

My suspicion is the Private behavior is conflicting when the Controlled by Parent OWD is selected.


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