This actually an old issue which pre-dates my blog, and sadly did not go to court (orange settled). But they really did not understand the issue it seems. The topic came up on irc recently so ... to explain....
I had an orange account and one of the phones on the account was used by my daughter which was (still is) a minor. Orange knew there was a user for the phone. They also knew the user was not authorised to act on my behalf contractually (i.e. she could not call up and change tariff, etc).
She sent a text to a ring tone provider number. The provider then sent numerous texts with ring tones or whatever over a period of time, and these were charged for as incoming texts.
I asked orange where the contract was on this? I have no contract with the ring tone provider. My contract with orange said I had to pay charges on my bill, but nothing in the contract allowed for such charges being put on the bill in the first place. Orange suggested it was a separate contract with the ring tone provider which allowed these. But I am not a party to that contract and my daughter is not authorised to create contracts on my behalf. They tried saying the contract was formed when the initial text was sent. They totally failed to understand that a minor is limited in what contracts they can enter in to.
Basically, I could not see any way contractually that the charges could stand.
If my daughter was older she could have entered in to a contract with a ring tone provider, and so she would be liable to pay them, not me. This is no different to using my phone to order a pizza. The pizza company cannot put the cost on my phone bill just because my phone was used to establish the contract. Being a minor that did not apply anyway as she was too young to enter in to that contract.
I think at one point they said the terms of the contract with the ring tone provider had things like "must be over 18". As I pointed out, that does not help - it just means that the ring tone provider also understands that the contract could not exist as their own terms do not allow it to exist.
Anyway, issued a county court claim and they settled in the end.
It strickes me that the whole premium SMS business is dodgy.