If you’ve talked to anyone about Companion Geeks and mentioned Courtesan Creative in the same conversation, please link them to this article to clear my name.

CompanionGeeks.com (no longer online) was a web design company that scammed and over charged client credit cards. For a few clients, they never delivered the full project. And now, websites of all current clients are down. You’re probably here because you’ve been scammed or ripped off by CompanionGeeks.com. This article will explain a lot but it will not help you get your site back online unfortunately.

Fake Identities & Rebranding

The “John Kane” a.k.a “Sam Houston” a.k.a “Hannah Li” you know are all one person. He’s also “The Phoenix”, “Companion Designers”, “Companion Geeks”, and “Upside Agency”. He’s probably @johnmjkane on Twitter, but I am not sure. Here’s his history before Companion Geeks:


What happened to Companion Geeks?

CompanionGeeks.com domain name is still online pointing to the same server IP address. My best guess is he stopped paying for web hosting. The web host shut down his server which took down CompanionGeeks.com and his clients with it.

Why would he stop paying for hosting?
Knowing him and how he operated Companion Geeks, it was probably because all of the following were happening at the same time:

  • His company’s main designer — me — stopped working for him.
  • He couldn’t hire new people to help manage clients and keep things going.
  • Cherry Price called him out publicly for poor quality.
  • Other clients digging up dirt about his past.

With a history of fake identities plus cut and run, I’m not surprised it happened again.

How do you know so much?

I used to work for Companion Geeks as a freelancer. I first heard of them through Upwork.com — a website for people to hire help for web projects. Here’s John Kane posting on UpWork to hire help: (note, the ad doesn’t display his name)

I responded to the job ad and started working with him around end of August 2018. By that time, his clients knew him as “Sam Houston” but he reached out to me as “John Kane” so I was in the dark for a while not knowing his background. Here’s the archived emails of us discussing different projects.

As you can see, I worked for Companion Geeks from about August 27 to October 4, 2018. My responsibility was mainly designing the layouts and making sure booking forms and emails were delivered. I didn’t do any logo design and photo touch ups.

He was outsourcing his tasks to me, but I didn’t have direct contact with his clients. Everything I produced was based on 1) his instructions 2) files available and 3) his project budget. In the time I worked for him, I made sites for the following companions:

  • Alanna Bentley
  • Cherry Price
  • Gabriela Solis
  • Heather Strong
  • Jane Jupiter
  • Katrina Vaughn
  • Lilly Grey
  • More More
  • Taylor Hansen
  • Veronica Zelle

Of that list, only Cherry Price was unhappy with her site, but rightfully so. Whatever he charged her, he paid me a fraction to build the site in one day without any direction on design and content. I understood why she was angry with Companion Geeks because “John Kane” mismanaged the project, but professionally I couldn’t reach out to her to explain why. Cherry was not my client.

Had I received real design direction and given a realistic budget plus deadline to deliver the project, I could’ve built something much better.

Leaving Companion Geeks

I dropped Companion Geeks as a client on September 29, 2018, but continued making site fixes for that company until October 4th, which was when communications suddenly stopped.

When I quit, all of my responsibilities with Companion Geeks were finished and paid for. Helping them until October 4th was simply professional courtesy. I didn’t owe that company any work despite some projects I worked on hadn’t been launched. Pushing projects to completion and launching them were John Kane’s or Sam Houston’s responsibility, not mine.

Here’s the email notifying “John Kane” I would not continue working for him.

I stopped working for Companion Geeks because I came across some of the same stuff his clients were finding out about him. Also, notice that he offered extra pay for me to help him with remaining tasks. He wouldn’t offer extra pay had I owed him anything before quitting.

You've got the wrong person.

Since learning of Companion Geeks’ poor business practice and credit card fraud, I’ve called them out publicly. It would be hard to miss my tweets if you search for “companion geeks” on Twitter.

How do I know about the credit card fraud? Here’s a client calling them out on it:



But despite the evidence, some people are convinced that Courtesan Creative is another Companion Geeks rebranding. That’s simply not true and those people need to stop spreading misinformation.

I’ve stayed quiet about this and kept everything private because it’s unprofessional to air out people’s dirty laundry and it doesn’t make me look good either. However, the people running on assumptions to accuse me of something I didn’t do is starting to hurt my business and livelihood.

I work extremely hard to produce high quality work and take care of my clients. Plus, I actually know what I’m doing instead of someone like “John Kane” that has to literally shut down his business because he can’t find help.

By not looking for evidence and telling people Courtesan Creative is Companion Geeks based on your assumptions, you’re hurting someone actually doing honest work.

If you’ve talked to anyone about Companion Geeks and mentioned Courtesan Creative in the same conversation, please link them to this article to clear my name.

Questions & Answers

Can you help me get my site back?
Unfortunately, no. I did not work on every site. Also, for sites that I did work on, the backup that I have is incomplete or not the final version that you went online with.

Unless the copyright has been transferred to you and you have a back up of the server files ready to go with a domain name, I cannot help.

I’ve helped a few clients get back online with new websites because I don’t own the copyright to Companion Geeks’ works. Some clients I helped for free if it was quick and easy and for some I charged only 50% of my regular fee because I felt bad and wanted to help.

However, after weeks of being accused of something I didn’t do and being disrespected, I’m no longer interested in offering free or discounted help. If you don’t respect me then please take your business elsewhere.

Why did you start Courtesan Creative?
I’m good at what I do, but generally I’m not a marketer or someone good at selling themselves. I don’t spam providers’ emails and booking forms offering unsolicited services. From Companion Geeks, I learned that providers are hugely under served when it comes to web services. I saw an opportunity for me to stand out simply by doing honest work and being reliable so I started Courtesan Creative.