(clever wood pun here)
I have had a similar experience. My local lumber yards (owned by the same company) are cruel and illogical in their pricing and calculations. They calculate BF from largest width and do nothing to account for missing material (bark area, taper, etc). Last time I was able to convince them to give me a break on the $/BF, but that is not the norm.msakaki, I think maybe you just need to find a different lumber dealer. The hardwood dealer where I buy most of my wood is quite the opposite experience you describe. They have the board foot total marked on every board and there are tape measures all over for you to check/confirm if you wish. They routinely break down the lumber for me to make it easier to transport (I drive a small pickup) at no cost. If I'm looking for something special, all I have to do is give them a call and they'll set it aside if they have it. Otherwise a couple weeks lead time to get and they call me when it's in. Their prices are fair and I've never had anything but good service.
My regular wood guy is a small private hardwood sawmill that has odd hours, but each board is pre-calculated and marked. They account for defects in these calculations and do not round up on thickness or width. There aren't many things that I ever buy where I feel like the transaction is honest ( maybe I am a pessimist), but this place is definitely an exception.
Sent from my DROID RAZR MAXX using Woodworking Talk