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Same problem. Basic account. Were able to add contacts before. But cannot now. Only change is from paid account to basic account. I don't belong to any group, how can I make myself be able to add contacts?
Basic account users will not have admin control for IM mgmt / contacts but still should be allowed to invite contacts by following instructions here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115004055706-Adding-and-managing-Zoom-contacts
As said before if the contact your inviting is part of an account that has policies against communicating with external contacts you may have to work with their admins on this.
The Zoom account administrator on either side - your side or your contacts side can determine that external (or even internal) - contacts and chats can be disabled.
In a educational setting, an administrator may be concerned about student privacy and that is why they have chosen to disable these features. Also, the Zoom admin of your account can see your contacts, they are not private to you, so that can also be of a concern to student privacy.
However, you can still invite a person to a Zoom by emailing them the Zoom link to join.