> I dont see how in the hell the label on a package can be changed or switched once its > been sent and entered the postal system short of intentional mail tampering by a > postal employee (which is 100% illegal in pretty much any country I would have > thought)
I work for the Belgian post (bpost). The situation may be different here but when packages from France enter the Belgian post system, a sticker with a barcode (internal to the Belgian post system) is applied to each package. It allows the tracking of that package inside Belgium. This barcode is different than the original sticker (and number) put on the package when sent from France. On the other hand, we also distribute DHL packages sent from Germany. On those packages, there's no additional barcode added. We use the original DHL barcode.
So the confusion may happened when the package arrived in the other country where the new barcode would have been associated with the original barcode of the wrong package.
In the past, I got 2 big packages lost in the US postal system. Never got them.