A mother who was refused help by the AA has been offered complimentary breakdown cover

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Nicola Millar with 17-month-old Violet Nicola Millar with 17-month-old Violet

A mother has been offered compensation by the AA after the organisation refused to help rescue her trapped baby.

Nicola Millar, 36, of Westward Road in Chingford, was left in tears on Monday afternoon after her 17-month-old daughter Violet was locked inside her car for up to 45 minutes.

The mother-of-one had been shopping at Morrisons in Chingford Mount Road when she locked her car by accident while trying to fold up a pram.

Mrs Millar was told by the police she had two options, the police could come and smash her window or she could call the AA.

Mrs Millar called the AA but was told unless she paid the £150 membership fee to join on the spot, the firm wouldn't help.

The AA has now offered Mrs Millar complimentary full annual breakdown cover.

A spokesman for the AA said: "We finished investigating it and the call handler who took the call was new to the team and, unfortunately, didn’t flag it up to a manager, as should have happened.

"We would like to apologise to Nicola Millar for the distress caused and offer her complimentary AA membership so that she is covered whatever the circumstances."

After 45 painstaking minutes, Mrs Millar, in tears, asked 57 year-old passer-by James King, from Walthamstow, to smash the rear passenger window of her Ford Focus C-Max.

"I called the AA because I didn't want to smash the window in case my daughter got hurt, but I was left with no other choice.

"I had every intention of paying, all I wanted was to get my daughter out of the car."

Mrs Millar has accepted the complimentary membership worth £190 and hopes that she will never have to deal with a similar siutation again.

"I'm slightly upset they blamed it on a new employee, but my daughter is safe and I never want to go through that commotion again." 

Comments (8)

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2:41pm Fri 24 Jan 14

AMAEEssex says...

I'm really not meaning to sound like "you know who" and also that someone said much the same when this story first appeared, but where was the emergency here.? How was this child in any danger when the simple solution was what happened in the end, a brick through a window.? We all have plenty of chance you join one of the breakdown services and none of them have any magic keys and will have to force entry in one way or another. Point is that this lady cared more about a piece of glass. Perhaps a car person could tell me but is a back window much more expensive that joining the AA at the roadside? Maybe the worry and panic clouded her thought process, as it can with all of us to be fair, but the simple solutiomn was always a brick. One thing I would like to know is if the AA has helped would a similar story have appeared praising them? Doubt it.
I'm really not meaning to sound like "you know who" and also that someone said much the same when this story first appeared, but where was the emergency here.? How was this child in any danger when the simple solution was what happened in the end, a brick through a window.? We all have plenty of chance you join one of the breakdown services and none of them have any magic keys and will have to force entry in one way or another. Point is that this lady cared more about a piece of glass. Perhaps a car person could tell me but is a back window much more expensive that joining the AA at the roadside? Maybe the worry and panic clouded her thought process, as it can with all of us to be fair, but the simple solutiomn was always a brick. One thing I would like to know is if the AA has helped would a similar story have appeared praising them? Doubt it. AMAEEssex
  • Score: 5

3:22pm Fri 24 Jan 14

OngarRS says...

For goodness sake woman - do what everyone else does and join one of this organisations in the first place. Or you could have called out a locksmith.
For goodness sake woman - do what everyone else does and join one of this organisations in the first place. Or you could have called out a locksmith. OngarRS
  • Score: 5

3:50pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Thunderbird4 says...

The police opened my car with a coat hanger. Maybe it doesn't work on new cars or perhaps the skill has been lost.
The police opened my car with a coat hanger. Maybe it doesn't work on new cars or perhaps the skill has been lost. Thunderbird4
  • Score: 2

4:03pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Thunderbird4 says...

That little girl looks a bright and alert child. Couldn't mum have told her to undo her seatbelt, get the keys and press the button? Perhaps it was not an option.
That little girl looks a bright and alert child. Couldn't mum have told her to undo her seatbelt, get the keys and press the button? Perhaps it was not an option. Thunderbird4
  • Score: 2

7:19pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

Jeremy Kyle comes to mind.
Jeremy Kyle comes to mind. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

9:57pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

Rewarding bad behaviour in adults with an AA membership encourages bad behaviour in the offspring.
Rewarding bad behaviour in adults with an AA membership encourages bad behaviour in the offspring. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

5:16pm Mon 27 Jan 14

myopinioncounts says...

We have paid for nearly 20 years of AA membership, calling them on only 3 occasions. I object to this woman getting complimentary membership for nothing! Where is my rebate for NOT calling them out?
We have paid for nearly 20 years of AA membership, calling them on only 3 occasions. I object to this woman getting complimentary membership for nothing! Where is my rebate for NOT calling them out? myopinioncounts
  • Score: 1

10:36am Fri 31 Jan 14

Dave mp says...

Why?
Why? Dave mp
  • Score: 0

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