Defines the 'almost customer' in terms of someone who becomes 'frustrated with one or more aspects of the firm's value proposition' and aborts buying. Expands on qualifying elements i.e. desire to transact, no prior transactions, emotional involvement, source of the negative effect, avoidance of future transactions - and investigates arising issues. Relates environmental, individual, situational, dyadic and cognitive factors that cause 'fledgling relationships' to fail to the 'almost customer' scenario. Analyses 25 two-hour personal interview responses regarding 'almost customer' experiences to expand on baulking causes under: human resource management; policies, processes, and procedures; availability of market choice (mature markets); customers' personal characteristics; purchase type; servicescape; and, customer lifecycle. Expounds, similarly, on 'almost customer' responses to negative event characteristics. Integrates this into a four-forces organizational, market, situational, psychosocial model, with implications for business and future research.