That appears to be what happened with Virgin Mobile.
I'm still waiting on a number port to complete and the online account manager wanted me to add my payment information, so I did.
Apparently then it proceeded to bill me for my first month's worth of service despite the fact that I can't use my phone yet.
This was one big reason I decided to go after one of the cheaper plans rather than the unlimited plan, because I guess I was worried that this exact thing would happen.
If I get activated in the next few days, I probably won't carry about the early billing, but past that, I'll be pursuing some sort of refund.
The whole process so far has just felt like one huge eff up on Virgin Mobile's part and though I was a customer once upon a time with no complaints, this whole process is really cutting into my enthusiasm.
Plus, if I understand it correctly, an iPhone bought on Virgin Mobile will only ever work on Virgin Mobile. If I buy the unlocked GSM phone, I can take it to any GSM carrier. Sucks that I can't just buy that and take it to Virgin Mobile.
Frankly, I'm somewhat confused, because I hear that there's supposed to be an iPhone that works on both CDMA and GSM. Confusingly, I think it's a Verizon or Sprint phone (maybe both). I guess the point is that then you can take your phone international. But if I understand it, it's still otherwise locked to your CDMA carrier.
The whole thing just makes me think that I'll stick with my Black Friday iPhone 4 for awhile.
Assuming I can ever get my service activated on it.