I often get questions about why I changed our name from TSC / The Service Company to Five Star. Sometimes, the change causes confusion for my customers. That bothers me, so I want to give a personal explanation of why I made it.
When I started the company in 1984, I didn’t think much about the company name. I chose three initials: TSC. My 12-year-old nephew Ted often said that the name of TSC stood for the “Ted Sinn Company” because he liked to ride around with me in the truck. It was funny, and it was as good as anything else.
When we started doing retail service in 1987, the letters became a problem because everybody wanted know what TSC stood for. I sat down and wrote out 20 different things that TSC could stand for. From this list, I chose The Service Company. At that point, we only provided heating and air conditioning service. We were 95% commercial and 5% residential. Nobody cared what TSC stood for.
It bothered me The Service Company name was so indefinite that most people didn’t really know what we did. We got calls for appliance repair, tractor parts, septic systems, and feed and seed supplies.
I thought the solution was going to be in purchasing a franchise that had the name of what we did in with the franchise name. That turned out to be a real dead-end because of the problems we ran into as part of the franchise. As a side note, I’ve always been unhappy with our local utilities because they compete with us for the local service customer. I have filed complaints with the state Public Service Commission, who has said it is fine with them as long as it’s cheaper for the customer. No matter what they say, it is not right for Duke Power or Piedmont Natural Gas to compete with the independent contractors when they use the overhead and customer list that they have from selling gas and electricity.
About a year after we purchased the franchises, the franchise owner was sold to a conglomerate called Direct Energy. Direct Energy is an English company that is responsible for most of electricity and all of the gas in England and Scotland. When I found out that our franchise operator had been sold to Direct Energy, I set down the same day and wrote a letter of resignation. I cannot see any way that I would be part of a utility company.
Because we had already upset the apple cart, I decided that we might as well go ahead and pick a name that we like and that describes what we do. The search resulted in the name Five Star. Five Star is a mark that defines excellence whether it be in motels, restaurants or in the marketplace in general.
Excellence in customer service and products has been the hallmark of TSC/The Service Company and now Five Star. Our ownership has not changed through this name change process. We did not make any of these changes to avoid providing the services we had promised or to avoid paying the bills we owe.
I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our customer base. Truly, without you, there’s no reason for us to be here, and we appreciate your continued patronage.