One of the best tricks of the trade in the good old days was for the ‘competent authority’ to mis-spell your name.
Train ticket, airline ticket, driving licence, scooter booking, radio licence, income tax refund, sales tax certificate, marriage certificate, school leaving certificate, board exam results, marriage certificates, travel documents, property documents, telephone booking receipt, gas cylinder records, legal paperwork ad infinitum. My name lends itself to variations, Viresh, Veresh, Mallik, Mullick, and so on and so forth. This culminates into been there, done it, smile and part with a few ‘Gandhis’ (read rupee notes) and move on.
One of the more interesting episodes involved a colleague with the surname "Shah". The ticket issued at the airport, despite showing the passport, was issued to "Saha". He did not look at the document carefully enough, and sure enough, in a well-sprung trap, the counter staff inside the airport denied the ‘Shah ban gaya Saha’, a boarding pass.
A few Gandhis later, the matter was resolved, but I took up cudgels after the act, on return, with long letters protesting the case and demanding a refund. It was all the more enjoyable because the person who had caused the chaos in the first case was one "Rai", so all letters from me to the airline referred to him as "King Mr RAT".
I am assuming people have read KING RAT. It has a gory ending. Something like this is happening right now.
I have had a cooking gas connection in my correct name for decades now. Luckily the original documents from day-zero are with me, through different dealers as they changed, even the gas company changed itself from Burshane to Bharatgas. At one stage, the Aadhaar number was added, with correct spelling and mobile number, because of which I get the subsidy in my bank account and the SMS confirmation therein.
However, somehow, without my noticing it, in the bills, the spelling of my name has changed itself to Verash and my mobile number has disappeared from the dealer's records, even though, as I said before, the subsidy reaches me directly and the SMS message gets through to me on phone too.
Obviously, therefore, somebody has fiddled with the local database at the dealer end. The dealer's staff, magically, know my mobile number, though.
What happens, if your dealer database name and phone number are at variance with the records kept by the gas company, in this case Bharat Petroleum (where I am a shareholder of a reasonably large number of shares, by the way) aka BharatGas?
1) You cannot raise an online complaint or vigilance report.
2) You cannot make an online payment for a refill.
3) The dealer can threaten to stop supply.
4) Complaints made for gas leakage and emergencies can and do go adrift.
5) You cannot fill any form if the mobile number is wrong or absent.
All the above are underway right now. Luckily, we have electrical and solar options for cooking at home, and so we are not dependant on cooking gas at all, so that's one stick the dealer, one Guptaji from Satish & Company, Hauz Khas, South Delhi, cannot beat me with. But he did try to insist that I go through a "change name procedure", which costs Rs500 and buy a new regulator which costs Rs750 and also pay another Rs250 for a new hose pipe. Over and above that, an inspection for "insurance" purposes, another Rs300.
So when I sent ‘Mr Gupat’ long letters telling him why I was not going to play along, he got kind of irritated with me referring to him as "Gupat", and refused to attend the gas leak emergency. Luckily, as an ex-tanker man myself, I know how to attend to this sort of stuff myself, but that's not the point.
The point is that all the other organisations, government or otherwise, have given up on the minor spelling variation games, and have moved on - or made it easier to fix matters.
It's called ‘correction’. Not "change".
After all, I am very happy with the name my parents gave me, so why is BharatGas aka BPCL ex-Burshane insisting that I have to "change" my name? Because Mr Gupatji of Satish & Company thinks, he can get away with it?
Note: If your name and other details have been altered by the dealer or gas company, then a "correction" is their responsibility. Don't get tricked into filling up a "name change" form and then paying for it.