My native language lacks tenses. I'll try to express tenses using headlines and please, tell me what's the correct tense to use. I would appreciate it if you corrected my words if they sound unnatural.

In the past,

When a customer calls us to order something, we tell him: "That'll be $5". Sometimes, we say: "Including fees (or fees are included)".


We tell him: "That'll be $5 including delivery and processing fees".

A customer may tell me that he never paid processing fees or delivery fees.

Here's my reply that might have inaccurate tenses:

Fees were applied but we didn't tell our customers about them for the sake of simplicity (or to make things easier) but now, we would like to give you our customers more details (or detailed explanation) about fees.

Thank you so much,

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    really in your native language you would say the same for 'i went for a run', 'I am running' and 'I will go for a run'?
    – WendyG
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 15:31
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    @WendyG Yes, some languages just use a time frame: "I go for a run yesterday" makes perfect sense, especially in context.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 15:41
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    @WendyG Yes, In Arabic, there are no perfect continuous tenses. No past perfect. Present continuous is rarely used I think. Sometimes, we use sentences without any verbs such as "I student" and that's why I always forget verb "To be" in English. Commented May 21, 2018 at 16:04
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    @user2824371 yes, it's polite, although it may not be diplomatic to tell customers that in the past you've been withholding information from them. For a few dollars it doesn't matter, but if the contract was for thousands of dollars, with hidden fees, it could be a problem. Instead as I suggested you tell them you're now offering an itemized bill or a breakdown of costs, so they know exactly what they're paying.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 17:29
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    @user2824371 Please see my edited answer. I added more detail.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


Your sentence is fine and polite as written. I have no grammatical suggestions.

However there may be more diplomatic ways to tell customers that you have included extra charges in the past, but not actually told them about it. This depends entirely on the context.

The general term is charge for costs associated with an item or service. You can charge a customer for the item itself or the service itself, and also charge them additional costs associated with other related expenses.

If you are a company that sends products to people through the mail, then shipping (the cost to send the product) is an expected cost. Sometimes this is referred to as shipping and handling, abbreviated as S&H. It's not uncommon to state the total price for an item, including shipping and handling.

A fee is usually the cost associated with a service of some kind, for example a registration fee, a processing fee, a licensing fee, and so on. Fees may also be penalties for some situation, such as a late fee or a returned check fee. There may be fees associated with the cost of delivering a product, if the delivery requires some kind of special service (an installation fee, for example).

A general way to talk about a document that details the charges in the bill is an itemized bill, or more formally a bill of sale. Less formally you can talk about an itemized receipt, or a breakdown of costs.

So, again as a suggestion:

In the past we included shipping in the total cost of the item, but we have decided to provide an itemized receipt to our customers so they can see a detailed breakdown of the charges.

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