Mobile phone and broadband customers are in a “lose-lose” situation with the choice of “huge” price rises or “exorbitant” exit fees this spring.

Most major providers will increase prices by 8+% in April, adding significant sums to annual mobile contract bills.

Which? says the mid-contract rises put consumers in an unenviable position of acquiescing and paying more or forking out huge fees to switch to a new provider.

Virgin Media and O2 customers will have to pay more than £690 to leave if they have 12 months left on their contracts.

The newly merged mega provider is one of the worst for substantial hikes; customers could see a £39 increase in the cost of annual broadband bills when prices increase next month.

Ofcom has proposed a ban on mid-contract hikes linked to inflation, but the ruling won’t be in place by April.

Rocio Concha, Which? director added: “Telecoms firms must do the right thing and immediately scrap these rises, rather than cynically taking the opportunity to cash in one last time at the expense of their customers before new rules take effect.”

Virgin Media has not generated enough goodwill with customers to justify price increases; the latest broadband provider rankings put it at the bottom of the pile with a one-star rating.

O2 will also roll out the largest hikes of all mobile providers this spring, with annual bills set to jump by £26.44.

A Virgin Media O2 spokesperson said it still offers “excellent value” for customers and invests £5m daily to improve the quality of its network and services.