How I won back £1m for Telegraph readers

It is at this time of year that many of us cherish the art of giving. So I’m excited to tell you about a present that many of you, our loyal readers, have received from us in recent months.

In May I was appointed as your Consumer Champion, which means that if you’ve been treated unfairly, or lost money, you can write to me and I’ll try to win it back.

Seven months later, my letters column Katie Morley Investigates, which appears every Saturday and Sunday in Telegraph Money, has hit a milestone. More than £1 million has been won back for readers, all before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve 2019.

And what a journey it has been.

I have argued with companies until I’m blue in the face, spent months collecting evidence, and even stepped in when the police refuse to investigate criminals. My aim is to achieve nothing more and nothing less than fairness. But believe me when I say, recovering life-changing sums from companies on a regular basis requires me to fight with claws out.

I jumped in at the deep end with the first case I took on, which involved harrowing abuse of a care home resident. Betty, 95, had suffered verbal and physical abuse at the hands of her carers. Soap was forced into her mouth by one staff member, who called her “minger”, “disgusting little reprobate” and “horrible”. After months of back and forth, I secured a £101,500 payout for her family to refund part of her fees and to say sorry for her suffering. I’m told that Betty, who has sadly passed away, would have approved of the battle for justice that ensued five years after she died from natural causes.