A mum was left distraught when she was refused help by the AA after accidentally locking her toddler inside her car.
Nicola Millar, 36 was told that the AA wouldn't help free her 17-month-old daughter unless she took out a £150 membership there and then.
The mother-of-one had placed her daughter Violet inside the car after shopping at Morrisons. She shut the car boot with her keys inside, while attempting to fold up her pram.
Panicking, Nicola flagged down a passing van driver who was a member of the AA and asked him to call for help.
But the person who answered the driver's call informed him that help would not be coming until Nicola had signed up for an annual membership.
By this point Nicola, from Chingford in London, was in tears and so was her daughter.
"I was told I needed to make the payment first over the phone. I told them I couldn't as my purse was in the car," explained Nicola. "They then asked me to ring someone I knew to make the payment. Again I told them I couldn't because I didn't know any numbers off by heart and my phone was locked in the car.
"At this point, they said they couldn't help me. I was disgusted by their response, it's not as if I was going to knock them, I was desperate."
After 45 minutes, the van driver, James King, from Walthamstow, smashed a back passenger seat window and used a piece of lead pipe to fish the keys from the boot.
He also feels let down by the AA. He said: "It is absolutely disgusting. If anything, they should have come out and done something using my membership but they totally refused.
"This poor woman was really upset and it was out-of-order for them to leave this woman in tears whilst her 17-month-old girl is crying in the back seat."
A spokesman for the AA has apologised for the 'unfortunate' response: "In these circumstances we would normally send out a patrol car and if a driver is not a member of the AA, we can sort out the administration afterwards. We do have procedures in place to offer a service to a non AA member and it is unfortunate what has happened.
"We are sorry for any distress this may have caused to the mother and the child and I don't know why someone did not attend in the first place. We receive thousands of calls regarding people or animals being trapped and I would urge that if it is an emergency to contact the police of fire brigade."
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more