So, I ordered a product from an on-line vendor. As you do.
I paid for my purchase via Pay Pal. As you do.
I received a shipping notification from the vendor with a tracking number. As you do.
In this case, the shipping/tracking number was through the USPS. I checked on the status of my package three days after I was told to expect arrival (the expected delivery date being a Saturday, not getting too concerned until after the subsequent Tuesday's mail delivery didn't seem an unreasonable imposition). As you do.
Checking in with the USPS official website I cut-n-paste the tracking number I was provided into the provided search box and, lo and behold, my package was apparently delivered "in or at the mailbox at 2:07 pm on December 8, 2014". Now, I did indeed receive the expected monthly cable bill on that date, so I'm confident a postal delivery was actually made on the day in question. Just not the package I was anticipating.
Already being on the USPS website, I attempted to use the contact link for the Postal Inspectors to report on my waylaid, or at least undelivered to me, package. After the usual cut-n-paste entry of the identical tracking number I had just entered via the same manner into the "track your package" search box, the Postal Inspectors reporting page informs me that this is an invalid tracking number, or at least now possesses an excess of spaces between the digits. Needless to say, removing the spaces from between said digits resulted in the same error message. Repeatedly.
The expression "Going Postal" begins to take on added piquancy.
There is a provided 1-800 number; once my blood pressure medication (which I will have to have my doctor prescribe me very soon now, I fear) and my soporific-of-choice has an opportunity to take effect, I really must give due consideration to attempting that avenue of communication.
My next venture into 21st Century mercantilism will be to inquire with the on-line vendor referenced above to see if he wants more of my money, and what amount will additionally be required to purchase insurance and make my next delivery be "return receipt requested". Since the product is something of a limited offering, I'm not feeling confident.
At least our benevolent government doesn't issue guns and clubs to postal carriers yet, so their assault on us isn't quite as direct as it might be (insert link to your preferred example of police brutality here), but we can still live in hope. As you do.
Update 12/18: Screw you, Post Office thieves. UPS for the rebound and the win!