Roadside Service Won't Help Baby Locked in Car Because Mom Can't Pay First

wheelYou know that panicky feeling you get when you slam your car door and realize your keys are in there? How about having it when your child is still in there. Nicola Millar, a mother in London, accidentally locked her keys, her purse, and her 17-month-old, Violet, in the car recently. Both she and Violet, who immediately burst into tears, were nervous wrecks.

Millar instantly called AA, an auto service akin to Triple A, thinking it would only be a matter of minutes before she could get her child out of the car. But something funny happened. AA wouldn't help Millar get her baby out of her car, because she had an unpaid fee.

Millar kept explaining to the person who took the call that she'd pay the fee once someone unlocked her car, as her purse was in the vehicle, too. But the person wouldn't budge. They asked her if she could call someone who could make the payment for her, but again, her phone was in the car. Still! The operator didn't care! "At this point, they said they couldn’t help me," Millar said, "I was disgusted by their response, but it’s not as if I was going to knock them, I was desperate."

Eventually, a man driving a van, James King, saw Millar and stopped to help her. He, too, had AA and called to see if someone could come out to help her using his membership, but they were denied again! They were told that in order for Millar to use their services, she had to sign up herself! After 45 minutes of Violet being locked in the car, King broke the window and got her out. AA has issued an apology to Millar, saying that the person who took the call was new and unfamiliar with their protocol, and Millar's since been given a year of their services for free.

This poor woman! I can't imagine what was going through her head during the 45 minutes her helpless kid was locked in the car. It's scary to think what could have happened, were it freezing cold or dangerously hot out. But, on the flip side, it's always reaffirming to hear about a Good Samaritan willing to drop everything and help out a person in need.

You know, I get that when you're new at a job, it's hard to know what to do when things deviate from the norm, but sheesh. Talk about a lack of common sense. There was a baby in the car, for crying out loud!

What would you have done if you were Millar? Have you ever locked your keys in your car?


Image via Arman Zhenikeyev/Corbis

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ashjo85 ashjo85

First, if she called AA, clearly her phone wasn't still in her car. That was weird.


Second, that's crazy!! Even if you didn't know policies and procedures, you could at least offer to call police non emergency or SOMEONE to come help, instead of flat refusals. I wouldn't use their service, even if it was free.

MrsLa... MrsLandon2012

She probably found a pay phone and looked up the number in the phone book. Most people don't have their contacts memorized except maybe their spouse and a couple family members.

Shannon Elysabeth Mundorff

So they said no, and she didn't call police or emergency, AND she waited 45 minutes before finally breaking the window? Yes AA was wrong, but come on lady! She made some serious poor choices too!

sylph... sylph_ironlight

Her phone was locked in the car; the good samaritan who stopped let her use his phone. Also, she wasn't denied service because she had an unpaid fee-she was denied service because she isn't a paying customer. Why didn't she call the police instead of AA? Or break the window first, which would cost less to repair than paying the year membership? If my kid got locked in the car and no one could be there to unlock the door within a few minutes, I'd be breaking the window.

Sunny... Sunnysdmom

If you are that dumb to lock you kid in the car, you must suffer the consequences, If you were not panicked enough to call emergency services, then you get what you deserve. Don't blame the comapny.  It obviously was not an emergency.

LeeshaE LeeshaE

Yeah I don't get why she didn't just call a local tow company and explain the situation. I am sure they would have been accommodating. And I have locked my keys in my car several times and was never asked for money in advance they got their money when I got my keys.

00NoW... 00NoWay00

It's easy to accidentally lock your keys in your car.  And, if the baby is inside at the time I guess you lock him / her in there, too.  It's not being "dumb", it's being human and not perfect.  I used to lock my keys in the car all the time when I first started driving.  Fortunately, I got better about it as I got older and never locked my kids in the car.  If I did, I would have probably called the police, though.  I am sure they would have helped out. 

jrphelps jrphelps

My mom locked my son in her car while it was running.  Luckily he was asleep & she was visiting an aunt in a town where everybody knows everybody.  They called their sister-in-law's brother from a garage in town & he came out right away & unlocked the car.  My son was still sleeping!

Bobbie Scherzer

It was wrong if the company, especially since she had payment on her.  I'm confused why she didn't call 911.  The police are probably used to those calls all the time, especially during heat waves and cold snaps, and would have arrived quick.  There is no way I would have waited 45 minutes before breaking the window.  If the cops or the auto club wouldn't help, I would break my window on the spot and worried about the deductible later.

jorji... jorjiegirl

Same thing happened to me when my dd was about 3mnths old, and on star refused to unlock the doors bc our plan had expired! The lady workin for on star was even upset that she couldn't help me and even asked a supervisor...thank goodness a local garage was able to help

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