re: is anyone else
"[H]ow do you justify being charged for something you have no control over?"
This is the US. Haven't you learned by now that the US government and powerful corporations (certain software companies, oil companies, telecom companies, banks / credit cards, etc) can do anything they want without having to justify it?
But if you want a serious answer, I'd say it's because people have no choice. It's either A) pay for every text message sent and received (either per-message, as a separately flat-rate monthly fee, or as part of your plan), or B) don't get a mobile phone. And with the alarming disappearance of pay phones, you pretty much need a mobile phone now, even if only for emergencies. Ten years ago it wasn't too bad for emergencies because you could get a plan for as low as $20/mn (granted, that was only for 20 minutes of talk time). Now the lowest plan I can find is at least $40/mn plus taxes and fees (this includes the pay-as-you-go plans I've seen which require you to purchase minutes, but then those minutes expire whether you use them or not). It's similar to why people stay with Comcast despite their illegalities and deception -- we have no choice if we want faster-than-dialup internet access (a lot of the US, even suburbia, doesn't have any form of DSL available yet).
But, back to your question -- "[H]ow do you justify being charged for something you have no control over?" I think the more important question -- in a different industry but the same principle -- is how can you justify being arrested and charged (in the legal sense) for something you have no control over (receiving an SMS of a (semi-)nude picture of a 15-17 year old)? Again, this is the US. Government and corporations don't need justification. They'll do whatever they want. After all, what are the sheeple really going to do -- wait for another election, vote the current idiots out, only to realize that most politicians are the same, that they don't care about their constituents, and only care about those who line their pockets?
But don't worry. With the way the US likes to push (read: force) it's ideas and laws onto other countries, the rest of you will probably adopt the same scheme(s) at some point in the not-too-distant future.