Yeah, it's not fair and it sucks. You actually need the phone in hand to register. I think it was messed up the way this promo was set up. You should have been given a choice at the time of purchase, rather than Verizon redirecting you to a Samsung site and then having to upload a photo of your receipt. Why couldn't they set it up so Verizon confirms you purchased the phone and gives you the promo item?
Hope the VR is still in stock when my phone arrives later today or I'll be even more upset because I won't get any promo item at all.