thank you for your reply.
i was able to get it working yesterday and i forgot to update this thread. what you suggested may work, im not sure.
the problem was the following:
in Configuration -> Catalog (admin/system_config/edit/section/catalog/) there were some urls that were not set up correctly by default.
“Category upload url” and “Product upload url” did not have the “Base url” at the beginning, so the source file was not being found correctly.
hope this helps someone else…