"1. a person who buys 2. Informal. a person with whom one has dealings: a queer customer".
For "client", it gives:
"1. a person, company, etc., that seeks the advice of a professional man or woman. 2. a customer. 3. (in the US) a person who is receiving aid from a welfare agency
|Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 2):|
In the travel business, we prefer "punters" !
|Quoting BCAL (Reply 1):|
Therefore if you purchase a goods (like in a shop) or use a company's services (like the telephone/gas/electricty etc) you are a customer but if you engage the services of someone like a doctor, an accountant or (heavens forbid) a lawyer you are a client. But what about companies who provide a service as well as selling a product - e.g. banks? The preference in these politically correct days is for the word 'customer' hence you have 'customer service teams'.