Whether or not you have been burned by your cell-phone provider’s shady business relationships, a little preventative maintenance of your account is in order. What I call a scam, they call “third-party billing.”
But you can stop it.
One Consumerist commenter was successful in asking T-Mobile to block third-party billing. Two minutes later, so was I, and the customer service representative I spoke with did not give me any grief. Just call 611, ask for an operator, and tell them you want them to block third-party billing.
This should work with other cell phone service providers, as well.