AT&T just sent out an 8,000-word update to its service agreement, and it's full of all sorts of lovely, anti-customer things. For example, now people will only be given a 30-day notice of price increases when it's "commercially reasonable." Also, you can't sue AT&T. In fact, according to the LA Times, the whole thing might go so far as to be illegal. Oh, AT&T. The terms are buried in a 2,500-page "guidebook," which seems like some pretty miserable reading. By sticking them in such a dense document, they pretty much ensure that no customers will actually read them. Who is reading it? California state regulators, who may require AT&T to edit the terms, at least in California. It seems that since doing some deregulating of the wireless industry designed to increase competition a couple of years ago, prices have actually gone up and we're seeing more fishy BS such as this guidebook. Well, it was a nice experiment, I guess. Now let's get some oversight on this industry to keep consumers from getting screwed over, shall we? [LA Times]
Regulating a market isn't the answer. The government needs to keep their paws off. Prices are going up, but do you know why? Because people are willing to pay it. It's basic economics. If people weren't willing to pay it, then they wouldn't buy it, if they didn't buy it, downward pressure would be exerted on the price level.
There's really no such thing as price gouging. As long as there aren't monopolies (which there really aren't in the cell phone business) then there can't be any such thing as unfair pricing because the price will always be controlled by consumer demand.