Yes, exactly. You're the first person to say what I was thinking - the cops and the family want to find this purportedly missing person and none of them is willing to cough up a mere 20 dollars?
There is no privacy right in having your phone turned off or turned on, and many courts have held the police don't need a warrant to locate a cellphone (though some have, as I recall). Regardless, the issue is over a corporation being cheap. But the people looking for him were equally cheap.
Now, maybe the tried to pay but were told "sorry, only the account holder may pay" or "sorry we only accept money orders for overdue accounts, you can't pay by credit card on this account" or some other bullshit like that. In THAT CASE, with someone missing and maybe in danger, the company would be in the wrong. But nobody should ever have to shell out $20 to help the police (also known as the government). Plus this time they say it's a missing person, next time they say it's a missing person but it's really just some arab guy they want to spy on.
The company is certainly not guilty of murder/manslaughter (had the guy died) as some people are saying here. That's ridiculous. Nobody has any duty to assist in an investigation beyond providing information you actually know.