A man who received 37 letters from the Child Support Agency in one day is not an isolated case, with the public service outfit battling for years to control a computer system that just cannot stop spewing out correspondence.
Complaints bureau the Commonwealth Ombudsman has been trying for at least six years to stem the tsunami of paper coming from the Child Support Agency to fathers with family law groups describing the volume of letters as "staggering".
The West Australian man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says he has been deluged with thousands of letters from the agency since his marriage broke up in 2010 with the frenzy of correspondence reaching a crescendo in 2013 when he was hit with 228 "assessment administrative notices" in just three months.
On one day, the father's letterbox groaned under the weight of 37 letters from the CSA.
The Department of Human Services, which runs the Child Support Agency, conceded on Thursday that the amount of automatically-generated letters coming from CSA "can be confusing"
But the department said a new system, which it hopes will be in place in the next 13 months, should solve the problem.
The blizzard of paper surrounding the father abated somewhat after the Commonwealth Ombudsman intervened in 2013, with the federal watchdog itself inundated by complaints by fathers struggling to cope under the volume of letters from the CSA.
Family law groups say the WA case is extreme, but not isolated, with many fathers reporting that 15 to 17 letters from the CSA in one day as a common occurrence.
Advocate and fathers' rights campaigner Wayne Butler of the Shared Parenting Council of Australia said he and his colleagues encountered many fathers who were struggling to cope with all the letters.
"The amount of material that comes out from the CSA is quite staggering," he said.
Mr Butler said the simple act of a father filing a tax return might trigger a process that would see five or six letters dispatched from the CSA's system.
"It definitely hasn't been sorted out and it's got a long way to go," he said.
"We would write letters to the Child Support Agency daily to try to respond to the deluge of letters.
"If you get 15 to 20 letters from the Child Support Agency in a day, which one do you respond to?
"There's no specific reference number on any of the individual letters, it's a debacle, an absolute travesty, the way they operate."
A Human Services spokeswoman acknowledged there was a problem but said customers had the choice of opting out of the mail system and conducting their transactions online.
"The Department of Human Services acknowledges that customers will sometimes receive multiple items of computer generated correspondence and that at times this can be confusing," she said.
"The department is legally obliged to notify customers of changes to their child support assessment and other important information via correspondence.
"Customers can choose to receive correspondence through a range of channels including online, the Child Support phone app or by surface mail."
The spokeswoman said the agency was pinning its hopes on a new IT system which it hoped would be in place by mid-2016.
"The department is currently working to deliver a new Child Support system which will improve and modernise service delivery for Child Support customers," she said.
"The system is expected to be delivered in the 2015-2016 financial year.
"Part of the new system design is a review of customer correspondence."