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an awkward customer

A troublesome person. I don't want Joe to join the club, he's just such an awkward customer. Sally's here again? Ugh, she's such an awkward customer, and I don't have the energy to deal with her today. I always thought Tom was an awkward customer, until he joined our department. He's actually really nice, once you get to know him!
See also: an, awkward, customer

cool customer

Someone who remains even-tempered, especially in stressful situations. Brad is such a cool customer. Nothing ever seems to bother him.
See also: cool, customer

one per customer

A sales policy allowing only one of a particular product to be sold per customer. A: "I'd like to buy two of those laptops, please." B: "I'm sorry. Because of stock shortages, it is only one per customer for the time being."
See also: customer, one, per

one to a customer

A sales policy allowing only one of a particular product to be sold per customer. A: "I'd like to buy two of those laptops, please." B: "I'm sorry. Because of stock shortages, it is only one to a customer for the time being."
See also: customer, one, to


informal A customer who patronizes a business in person on a frequent and reliable basis. Tom's been a regular of ours for years. He comes in every Tuesday and always orders a tall cappuccino with extra foam. There are a number of regulars I recognize whenever I go to the gym.

slippery customer

1. A devious, scheming, and untrustworthy person, group, organization, etc. You're working for Brett Thompson? Watch out—that guy's a slippery customer. Companies like this are slippery customers, coming up with all sorts of elaborate means of getting around regulations.
2. Someone who is difficult or impossible to apprehend or pin down due to their cunning. The notorious criminal has proven to be a slippery customer for police, eluding capture once again.
3. Someone or something that is difficult or tricky to determine or define with certainty. Modern art is often a slippery customer because it defies the boundaries of what a lot of people consider "real" art. What some may consider utterly brilliant others will stare at and wonder why a seven-year-old couldn't have done better.
See also: customer, slippery

the customer is always right

proverb cliché A phrase commonly used in the service or retail industry as a reminder to respect the customer's wishes, and therefore please them, often without regard to how unreasonable they may be. Well, the customer is always right, so if she thinks that her meal is undercooked, make her something else.
See also: always, customer, right

tough customer

A strong, determined person who is not easily intimidated, discouraged, or defeated. Our principal was a rather petite lady, but she was one tough customer! She had a difficult childhood, but it made her into a tough customer later in life. I wouldn't mess with that guy, he's a pretty tough customer.
See also: customer, tough

ugly customer

An especially mean, dangerous, or malicious person. I wouldn't go messing with that dude—he's one ugly customer. There are some ugly customers in this part of town, so watch your back.
See also: customer, ugly
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

customer is always right

Prov. In order to keep customers happy, the people who serve them should always obey their wishes. (Often cited as a principle of good business dealings; customers sometimes say it to the people serving them in order to try to get good service.) When I began working at the gift shop, my boss told me, "Remember, the customer is always right, no matter how stupid or rude you may think he is being."
See also: always, customer, right

one to a customer

Fig. each person can have or receive only one. (As in sales restrictions where each customer is permitted to buy only one.) "Only one to a customer!" said the chef as he handed out the hamburgers. Is it one to a customer, or can I take two now?
See also: customer, one, to

slippery customer

1. Fig. a clever and deceitful customer. Watch out for that guy with the big padded coat. He may snatch something. He's a real slippery customer.
2. Fig. a slippery creature. This little fish is a slippery customer. Get me something to scoop it back into its bowl.
See also: customer, slippery

tough customer someone

who is difficult to deal with. Some of those bikers are really tough customers. Walt is a tough customer. Just keep away from him.
See also: customer, tough
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ugly customer

An ill-natured or vicious individual, as in Watch out for Charlie when he's drinking; he can be an ugly customer. This phrase uses ugly in the sense of "mean" or "dangerous." [c. 1800]
See also: customer, ugly
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a tough ˈcustomer/ˈcookie

(informal) a person who knows what they want and is not easily influenced by other people: Self-confident, ambitious and positive, Paula is a tough cookie who is bound to do well.
See also: cookie, customer, tough
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

tough customer

n. someone who is difficult to deal with. Bruno is a tough customer. Just keep away from him.
See also: customer, tough
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

customer is always right, the

A commercial paean to the buyer. This phrase was introduced in the 1930s by H. Gordon Selfridge, an American who founded Selfridge’s, a large department store in Great Britain. A highly successful salesman who personally oversaw his retail operation, he insisted that his staff always defer to customers, whether they were right or wrong. The refrain was taken up by other businesses and has survived.
See also: always, customer
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
The word SIXTY was emphasized in a way to show the importance that was attached to PRICE--that being a test of more than common importance with the present customer. I sighed when I remembered that poor Adrienne had received but about ten dollars for ME--an article worth so much more than that there exhibited.
"Ah, I may as well come to the point at once with such a customer as yourself, Miss Halfacre; here is the article on which I pride myself.
Now the meaning of "credit" is this--when a customer buys a bar of soap, instead of the customer pulling out a purse and paying for it--she says she will pay another time.
Any ordinary customer, indeed, would have turned his back and fled.
"Pray do" said Holgrave, "and let me have the pleasure of being your first customer. I am about taking a walk to the seashore, before going to my rooms, where I misuse Heaven's blessed sunshine by tracing out human features through its agency.
He stared at Hepzibah a moment, as an elder customer than himself would have been likely enough to do, not knowing what to make of the tragic attitude and queer scowl wherewith she regarded him.
So Hepzibah put forth her lank arm, and, taking the effigy from the shop-window, delivered it to her first customer.
And, if the customer was an observant man, he would notice that her replies at that juncture became somewhat absent, her smile a little mechanical.
And a customer, pushing open the door unnoticed two minutes later, retired hurriedly to get shaved elsewhere, doubting whether Arthur's mind was on his job.
Yet, only a few weeks before, a customer's comment on this same whiteness had stirred him to his depths.
There was a door above and another below, both safely padlocked, making the stairs an admirable place to stow away a customer who might still chance to have money, or a political light whom it was not advisable to kick out of doors.
Forth trundled the cab into the Christmas streets, the fare within plunged in the blackness of a despair that neighboured on unconsciousness, the driver on the box digesting his rebuke and his customer's duplicity.
He uttered a deep sigh; and just as the cabman, taking heart of grace, was beginning at last to scale the wall, his defaulting customer fell again to running, and disappeared into the further fields.
-- to promenade, as usual and customer brought home...
-- To promenade, as usual, and large customer brought (fat man).....................................................