The first person I spoke to at Apple spent a while researching the issue and then told me there was nothing she could do but escalate the issue, and that I should expect a call “hopefully” within the next day. I asked what the problem might be, and she seemed as confused as I was. Although some Apple services were still working, like iMessage (thank God) and Photos, I was terrified that more services would suddenly become inaccessible or that I would lose the considerable amount of data I have stored in iCloud… More here.
This is a terrible story which not only highlights a lack of decent customer care from Apple, but more importantly the following which stood out to me-
Apple says it will hold my Apple accounts hostage in order to collect a payment.
It does worry me that my music, photos, files and so much more are with just one provider, Apple, but it is a trade off between convenience and reliance on just one entity. I am not sure that having all of my services with different providers would provide any advantages over and above keeping backups outside of the Apple ecosystem.
The issue with hostaging the Apple ID has been clarified by Apple.