I agree, though not sure you can. I tried today to see how it worked, pretending to be an AT&T customer. When you get to the page that asks for your wireless number, account info, etc, there are some FAQ's at the bottom.
Originally Posted by DougFNJ
I clicked "Is a new contract with AT&T required?" and this is the answer.
A new 2-year commitment with AT&T is required when starting your purchase online. Additionally, the Apple Retail Store offers a no-commitment iPhone for the full retail price.
So one could assume that the same will be in place for Verizon. Which stinks, because I have an Apple Store gift card I wanted to use.