Two weeks ago I reported that passport applicants who paid the steep expedite fees but didn't receive their passports in the allotted time could apply for a rush-fee refund. At the time, I couldn't find details about on the Department of State website.
But alert reader BeBeTravel wrote in with a link to a Bureau of Consular Affairs page that outlines the refund process. You can find the information you'll need to submit along with an address to send your written request.
Through September 30, you can still travel to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean if you've applied for but not received your passport, but don't delay applying for a refund if you qualify. Then, when you're on vacation, find a really, really slow activity, say a leisurely four-course dinner or a boat ride piloted by a lethargic captain, and put that not-so-expedited-fee refund to better use. Or, allow the money to fulfill its intended purpose and rent a fast car or buy your way into the front of some line. The possibilities are endless, really!